A New York City artist who was randomly shoved into a moving Manhattan subway train over the weekend is learning to navigate a new way of life after authorities say she was left “instantly paralyzed,” according to multiple news reports.
Emine Yilmaz Ozsoy, 35, was walking along the platform at the Lexington Avenue-63rd Street station around 6 a.m. Sunday when a man allegedly grabbed her by the head and pushed her into a passing train, the NYPD said, per NBC 4 New York, CBS News, and ABC 7 New York.
Authorities said in court documents the victim was “instantly paralyzed,” according to NBC 4 New York. Ozsoy was taken to the hospital, where she underwent surgery for serious injuries, including a cervical spine fracture and lacerations to the head, the outlet reports, citing court papers.
The suspect has allegedly been identified by the NYPD as Queens resident Kamal Semrade, 39, according to ABC 7 New York. He has been charged with attempted murder and assault. Police say the attack was random.
According to a criminal complaint obtained by NBC 4 New York, Semrade got on the same uptown train as Ozsoy in Queens that morning, before both of them got off the train on the Upper East Side.
Investigators do not believe the two knew each other and have used security footage and witness statements to allegedly connect Semrade to the crime, the outlet reports.
Ferdi Ozsoy identified the victim as his wife in a public statement released Tuesday, saying she was on her way to work at a cafe when the assault happened. According to the statement, Emine Ozsoy is an “award-winning artist, illustrator and painter,” who immigrated to New York from Turkey in 2017.
“Her life has been profoundly impacted by this tragic act of violence,” the statement reads. “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. But of course, faith and hope are never-ending. She’s young. She’s a strong woman. She’s creative. She’s empathetic. She’s a warrior. She’s a true friend who goes out of her way to help people.”
The Jackson Heights man expressed gratitude to the bystanders who came to his wife’s aid during a critical time.
“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,” Ozsoy wrote.
The husband says he’s now working to obtain emergency visas for his wife’s family members who remain abroad, while Ozsoy faces a long road to recovery.
“Her life after this is going to need constant care,” the statement reads. “We need all the help we can get.”
A GoFundMe page has been set up by Ozsoy’s co-workers at the cafe to help with rising medical expenses, which they claim have already reached the six-figure mark.
“Emine is a source of joy as a friend, colleague, and human being,” the fundraiser reads. “She’s artistic, lighthearted, witty, and, above all, someone we consider family.”
“Doctors initially informed us she had a slim chance of recovering movement below the neck,” the page continues. “In just one day, she challenged that prognosis by moving her arms. 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. She will get there, but she needs everyone’s help.”
According to CBS News, Semrade is being held without bail. It’s unclear if he has entered a plea or retained an attorney to speak on his behalf.
No doubt the perpetrator will receive a slap on the wrist and time served! NYC authorities love their criminals!
Execute the SOB.