Cops: Man Slammed Woman's Head Against Moving Train

Homeless man Kamal Semrade charged with attempted murder in NYC subway attack
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted May 24, 2023 1:05 PM CDT
Cops: With 2-Handed Shove, He Left a Woman Paralyzed
Surveillance images of the suspect in a seemingly random attack on a subway rider in New York City.   (NYPD)

A homeless man in New York City is facing a charge of attempted murder after allegedly shoving a woman's head against a moving subway train in a seemingly random, unprovoked attack. Kamal Semrade, 39, was arrested at a homeless shelter in Queens late Monday. He was charged Tuesday and is being held without bail. Police say he and his victim exited a train at the Lexington Avenue and 63rd Street subway station around 6am Sunday, per the New York Times. Semrade then allegedly approached the 35-year-old victim from behind, grabbed her head with two hands, and shoved it against the train.

A GoFundMe campaign raising money for medical expenses identifies the victim as Emine Yilmaz Ozsoy, a designer and illustrator who emigrated from Turkey, with clients ranging from Airbnb to Maroon5. "She didn't even see it coming," a witness tells the New York Post. "She just tumbled, just kept spinning because the train kept hitting her." She remains hospitalized in critical condition with spinal injuries and what the witness described as facial cuts down to the bone. She sustained a "cervical spine fracture, broken fingers, a laceration on her scalp and damage to four major blood vessels" and "is currently paralyzed from the neck down," prosecutor Carolyn McGuigan said at a Wednesday court hearing, per the Times.

Ozsoy is showing signs of progress, however. "Doctors initially informed us she had a slim chance of recovering movement below the neck. In just one day, she challenged that prognosis by moving her arms," according to GoFundMe. However, McGuigan said the woman "still has a risk of stroke or death" following the "completely unprovoked incident." A Post reader ultimately recognized the suspect from surveillance camera images, NYPD Chief of Detectives James Essig tells the outlet. Semrade was traced to the Queens homeless shelter, where he's believed to have been living for two years, per the Times. He has only one prior run-in with law enforcement, for drinking booze in public, according to the Post. (More subway attack stories.)

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