Law enforcement sources say the liquid thrown into a 56-year-old woman's face as she tried to get into her car in Queens Thursday that badly scorched her face, sending her to the hospital with third-degree burns, has been identified as a high pH level basic compound similar to Drano.
The woman, identified by neighbors as D. Alexandra Dyer, was taken to a hospital in stable condition after the attack near 33rd Street and 43rd Avenue in Long Island City.
Dyer told police she was approached from behind by a man who said, "Can I ask you a question?," then threw the liquid into her face from a coffee cup. The woman immediately felt a burning sensation; she drove 200 feet, the screamed for help, according to law enforcement sources.
Witness Luis Pererira said "she was just screaming in agony, that 'it hurts, it hurts,' as she was being tended to."
"She was in distress. She was obviously in distress," he said.
No arrest has been made. Authorities are interviewing the victim's coworkers and are actively looking to locate and speak with one who has not returned to work since the attack, police sources say.
The attack caught people who live and work in the neighborhood by surprise.
"It's tragic, absolutely tragic, especially in broad daylight," said Robert Civitano, who works nearby.
Neighbor Amber Johnson said Dyer lives in the area with her husband, and the two often appeared with their dog.
"She'd always wave over here if she was outside, she waved hello," she said. "I hope that she heals and i OK now."