Woman burned by chemical substance during argument in Brooklyn subway station

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Sunday, December 4, 2022
Woman burned by chemical substance in Brooklyn subway station
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A woman's face was burned after a suspect threw an unknown substance at her during an argument. This happened in a Brooklyn subway station on Friday. Johny Fernandez has the story.

PROSPECT LEFFERTS GARDENS, Brooklyn (WABC) -- A subway rider in Brooklyn was attacked with an unknown liquid on Friday morning.

Officials say the incident happened at between Winthrop Street and Nostrand Avenue in Prospect Lefferts Gardens at around 12:45 a.m.

The 21-year-old victim was standing on a subway platform when a woman approached her and the two began to argue. She tells Eyewitness News she never thought she would end up at the hospital as a burn patient - she is usually the one helping patients.

"Literally this was the most horrid thing I've ever been through, it was really burning a lot. So I ran to my job. That's all I was thinking about doing," said the victim, who did not want to reveal her identity.

She says she was getting off the 2 train at the Winthrop Street Station to go to work when she was confronted by a stranger.

"From the point of her being on the train, she was already aggressive in her wording, and her whole body motion, she was just saying how she's going to slap on the train," the victim said, "as soon as we got to the train station, to the stairs, that's when she threw the liquid at me."

The 21-year-old says her healthcare training kicked in and she focused on getting help.

"The first thing that went through my mind, I went to obvious healthcare mode, it wasn't really much of 'oh, I need to get revenge on this lady,' it's more 'I need to seek medical help immediately because I don't know what this is,'" she said.

On Friday afternoon, officers patrolled the subway station and put up wanted posters of the attacker.

MTA Chair and CEO Janno Lieber spoke about the attack during a taping of 'Up Close' with Eyewitness News anchor Bill Ritter.

"We are going to work with the police, who are doing an investigation to figure it out. But we also need to bear in mind that if this is somebody who has mental illness, it really speaks to what the mayor is saying, and the government has already done to create mental health beds. We need a system that gets people with severe mental illness out of the public space and get them into treatment so they can get better," Lieber said.

"I ran straight because I knew where I was going - to my job. She ran to the right side, so we ran two opposite directions. I was just hoping she wasn't going to come again and pour more on me," added the victim.

The victim now says she won't be taking the train - but says the experience has given her a new perspective on her healthcare career and life.

"Now I have the aspect of being a patient. Now I know what it's like to feel very angry and very anxious to what's going on. Things like that, and I feel like that makes me a lot better of a doctor," she said.

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