Suspect wanted after dousing college student with hazardous substance on Long Island

ELMONT, New York (WABC) -- A manhunt is underway on Long Island for a suspect who doused a hazardous substance on a college student one month ago.

"My advice is to surrender yourself now because we're gonna get you, we're coming for you," Nassau County Police Commissioner Patrick Ryder said.

The commissioner had a stern message for the man seen in surveillance video committing an unthinkable, heinous act, when he threw some kind of hazardous, corrosive liquid on Nafiah Ikram's face, which left her badly scarred.

Police are now on a manhunt for the suspect and are releasing new leads.

"The vehicle that we have on video at multiple locations, is a 2013-2015 red Nissan Altima with yellow New York plates," Ryder said

The 21-year-old pre-med student at Hofstra University told Eyewitness News Wednesday night that she noticed the suspect as soon as she got home that night on March 17th. She says right away that something didn't feel right.

WATCH | Ikram speaks out to Eyewitness News
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"I felt my chest being ripped out of my soul." A college student is still recovering and trying to understand why someone would attack her with acid.



"I see someone standing at the end of the block by the stop sign just looking at me," Ikram said. "And I thought that was really weird because especially in our neighborhood it's very quiet and being that it was March it's cold. Especially at night you don't see people walking around."

The question on Ikram's mind is, how did they know when she'd be home?

"Why did they know what time I'd be home? It was like they were waiting for me," she said.

Investigators are still testing the liquid to determine what it was. But whatever it was, it turned Ikram's face ash gray, making her feel like her face was on fire. It melted through her jacket and burned her arms.



For weeks doctors thought Ikram would be blind. Her eyesight has since improved, but it's unclear if she will ever regain her full vision.

The assailant was wearing thick black gloves, carrying a white cup and wearing a black hoodie. He's described as about 6 feet, 2 inches tall and skinny.

Congressmember and former Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice is calling on the state's Hate Crimes Task Force to assist Nassau County police.

"We have no evidence at this time to say it was a hate crime," Ryder said. "We have no evidence at this time to say it was not a hate crime. We treat our victims the same."

Nassau County Crime Stoppers have increased the reward money for any information on this case to $20,000. Tipsters can remain anonymous.

RELATED | Lawsuit seeks monetary damages after Asian American NYPD detective taunted
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The complaint charges that Terrell Harper used anti-Asian slurs and even threatened Detective Vincent Chung's mother on March 11.



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