A woman in New York City is recovering in hospital after a stranger pushed her head into a rapidly moving subway train on Sunday, according to multiple reports.
Emine Yilmaz Ozsoy, 35, was assaulted at the Lexington Avenue-63rd Street station in Manhattan’s Upper East Side around 6 a.m.
On Wednesday, assistant district attorney Carolyn McGuigan said the attacker grabbed Ozsoy’s head “with both his hands and shoved her with all his force into the moving subway car.” The victim suffered a cervical spine fracture, a scalp laceration and other injuries.
Police arrested Kamal Semrade, 39, at a shelter in Queens on Sunday in connection with the attack. He has been charged with second-degree attempted murder and several assault charges.
Authorities have said the attack was “completely unprovoked.”
According to a criminal complaint obtained by NBC 4 New York, Semrade and Ozsoy boarded the same uptown train Sunday morning. Ozsoy, who was on her way to work at a cafe, exited the train at the Lexington Avenue-63rd Street station and was followed by Semrade, who reportedly blindsided her from behind.
Ozsoy’s face and head reportedly hit the train before her body rolled alongside the subway and fell to the platform as the vehicle departed the station.
The attack was witnessed by several bystanders who tried to calm Ozsoy as paramedics arrived. She was transported to hospital and underwent surgery. Authorities say Ozsoy is still at risk of stroke and death.
Ozoy’s husband, Ferdi Ozsoy, said his wife immigrated to the U.S. from Turkey in 2017. In a statement released Tuesday, Ferdi said his wife is an “award-winning artist, illustrator and painter.”
“Her life has been profoundly impacted by this tragic act of violence,” he wrote. “She has suffered a severe injury to her neck that has resulted in significant limitations. Unfortunately, her mobility is expected to be affected, greatly impacting her daily life.
“The individuals that surrounded her on that train station, that comforted her and told her that everything was going to be okay until the EMTs came, they were there to keep her motivated to hang on to life and I really appreciated the New Yorkers who came to her aid in that moment.”
He claimed Ozsoy will likely need “constant care” for the rest of her life.
Ozsoy’s co-workers at the cafe created a GoFundMe to raise money for her medical bills, which they say have already reached six digits.
“Doctors initially informed us she had a slim chance of recovering movement below the neck. In just one day, she challenged that prognosis by moving her arms,” the page reads. “It is a huge step, but her road to recovery will be long and challenging. She’s a fighter and is already fighting to recover.”
The GoFundMe has raised over US$130,000 of its $2-million goal.
Semrade was arraigned on Wednesday. His next court appearance is scheduled for Friday.
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