Artist immediately paralyzed after being shoved into shifting subway practice, New York prosecutor says
A Turkish-born artist who moved to New York six years ago was immediately paralyzed from the neck down after a man allegedly pushed her into a moving subway in what a prosecutor on Wednesday described as a “completely unprovoked” attack.
Kamal Semrade, 39, has been charged with attempted second-degree murder and other felonies in the alleged attack on a subway station on Manhattan’s Upper East Side on Sunday, according to a criminal complaint filed with the New York Criminal Court and obtained by NBC New York .
The 35-year-old victim suffered a fractured cervical spine, a head laceration and other injuries after Semrade “grabbed her head with both hands and shoved her into the moving subway car with all her might,” Assistant District Attorney Carolyn said McGuigan on Wednesday during Semrade’s indictment.
In a verified online fundraiser organized in part by her husband, the victim was identified as Emine Yilmaz Ozsoy.
Emine Yilmaz Ozsoy. (via GoFundMe)
She was immediately paralyzed and remains in critical condition with a high risk of death or stroke, McGuigan said.
The attack at Lexington Avenue and the East 63rd Street station occurred at 6:05 a.m. and was caught on security camera and seen by witnesses, McGuigan said.
Ozsoy, the former Istanbul newspaper headpage designer, moved to New York City in 2017 and wants to focus on her art, her husband said in a written statement released at the fundraiser. She was on her way to work at the time, he said.
She and Semrade were on the same train and got off in Manhattan, McGuigan said.
Semrade followed her – and then pushed her onto the train as it left the station “quickly,” McGuigan said.
“All I see is him walking beside her, on her left side, and with his palms open, he just bangs her head on the moving train,” witness Nancy Marrero told NBC New York.
Her body “wobbled in circles and she just fell on the platform,” Marrero told the broadcaster.
Semrade fled the station, McGuigan said. As Ozsoy lay on the subway platform, she said she couldn’t feel her arm and asked if she was dying, Marrero said, according to NBC New York.
The story goes on
“I thought, ‘You’re not going to die, don’t worry, I’m here,'” Marrero told the broadcaster. “I stay with you.”
Court records show that New York City police took Semrade into custody on Tuesday.
In the statement, Ozsoy’s husband Ferdi Ozsoy thanked the authorities and those who comforted his wife following the alleged assault. He said she underwent difficult surgery at Weill Cornell Medical Center and he expects a “long road to recovery” that will likely hamper her career as an award-winning artist, painter and illustrator.
Describing himself as his wife’s only family in the United States, Ferdi Ozsoy said he was applying for emergency visas for relatives who could help with their care.
“Your life after will require constant care,” he said.
A lawyer for Semrade, who was remanded in custody during Wednesday’s hearing, did not immediately respond to a request for comment Wednesday night. His next court date is scheduled for Friday.
This article was originally published on NBCNews.com