By Lynn Edmonds
A 16-year-old student in Whitestone was slashed in the face by an unknown perpetrator last Wednesday morning.
The foreign exchange student from China was on her way to school when the perpetrator, wearing surgical gloves and a surgical mark, came up behind her, slashed her in the face and neck with what may have been a box cutter, and ran away.
The attack happened near the intersection of 147th Street and 13th Avenue.
“The victim and the immediate family are just in complete shock and confused. They just don’t know why this happened to her.” Assemblyman Ron Kim (D-Flushing) said. “The entire family is having a hard time going to sleep at night knowing that this perpetrator is still out there.”
The student was hospitalized but has since been released.
“She’s recovering, she was at a follow up check up today,” Kim, who has started a fund to help the family, said on Monday.
The injuries would have been much worse if the perpetrator hit her eyes or major arteries, but nonetheless the injury may have long-term physical consequences. The girl may not regain all the movement or feeling from that side of her face, Kim’s spokesperson said.
The seemingly random incident was especially frightening for the victim and her family because she was an exchange student from China, far removed from her parents and operating in an unfamiliar environment and in a second language, Kim’s spokesperson said.
She was staying with her aunt and uncle in Whitestone and attending a nearby high school. Her mother flew to the United States to see her daughter on Saturday, Kim said.
Now, the student wants to transfer to a larger school, where she will take the bus instead of walk, Kim said.
“At a school that has security guards she’d feel a little safer,” he said.
Other local parents may also be on heightened alert now.
“That’s a path that many other parents and students walk down,” Kim said of the location where the attack took place. “Obviously it’s alarming for all parents; this is every parent’s worst nightmare.”
Kim added that the family was grateful for the community’s support and that he’d spoken to the commanding officer and mayor to make sure the best people were on the case.
“I trust that they will follow through on all the leads that they’re getting,” he said.
Reach Lynn Edmonds at (718) 357-7400 x127, email@example.com or @Ellinoamerikana