A Turkish-born artist who moved to New York six years ago was quickly paralyzed from the neck down after a man pushed her into a moving subway train in what a prosecutor said Wednesday was a “completely unprovoked” attack.
Kamal Semrade, 39, was charged with second-degree attempted murder and other crimes for an alleged attack at a subway stop on Manhattan’s Upper East Side on Sunday, according to a criminal complaint filed in New York Criminal Court and obtained by NBC New York.
The 35-year-old victim had a broken neck, a cut on her scalp, and other injuries after Semrade “grabbed her head with both hands and shoved her with all his force into the moving subway car,” said deputy district attorney Carolyn McGuigan during Semrade’s arraignment on Wednesday.
The victim was named Emine Yilmaz Ozsoy in a confirmed online fundraiser that was partly put together by her husband.
McGuigan said that she was disabled right away and is still in very bad shape, with a high chance of dying or having a stroke.
The tweet below verifies the news:
A Turkish-born artist who moved to New York six years ago was instantly paralyzed from the neck down after a man allegedly shoved her into a moving subway train in what a prosecutor describe as a “completely unprovoked” attack. https://t.co/LFPJO5qsmF
— NBC News (@NBCNews) May 25, 2023
The attack happened at 6:05 a.m. at the Lexington Avenue and East 63rd Street stop and was caught on camera and seen by witnesses. McGuigan said.
Ozsoy moved to New York City in 2017 to focus on her art, her husband said in a written message posted to the fundraiser. She used to be the head page designer at a newspaper in Istanbul. He said that she was on her way to work at the time.
McGuigan said that she and Semrade were on the same train and got off in New York City.
McGuigan said that Semrade followed her and shoved her into the train as it “rapidly” left the stop.
Witness Nancy Marrero told NBC New York, “I just saw him walk up next to her on her left side and push her head onto the train as it moved.”
Marrero told the station that her body went “in a circle, and then she just fell onto the platform.”
McGuigan said that Semrade left the stop. Marrero told NBC New York that as Ozsoy lay on the train platform, she said she couldn’t feel her arm and asked if she was going to die.
“I told her, ‘Don’t worry, you’re not going to die. I’m here,” Marrero told the station. “I’m gonna stay with you.”
Court records show that Semrade was picked up by the New York Police Department on Tuesday.
In the statement, Ozsoy’s husband, Ferdi Ozsoy, thanked the police and those who comforted his wife after the claimed attack. He said that she had a hard surgery at Weill Cornell Medical Center and that he expected her to have a “long recovery journey” that will probably hurt her work as an award-winning painter, illustrator, and artist.
Ferdi Ozsoy said that he was his wife’s only family in the U.S. and that he was trying to get emergency passes for family members to help take care of her.
“She will need care all the time after this,” he said.
Rebecca Heinsen, a lawyer with The Legal Aid Society who is helping Semrade, said that her client had never been in trouble with the law before this tragedy.
In an email, she said, “At this time, we ask the public not to jump to conclusions based on sensationalized press coverage.”
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Semrade was sent back to jail at the hearing on Wednesday. He will be back in court on Friday.
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