Tuesday, 20 Oct 2020

Pennsylvania Grandmother Left Blind After Stranger Throws Acid On Her in Apparent Random Attack

Helen Jones, a grandmother who works as a phlebotomist in Philadelphia, is now blind after she was attacked outside of her home with acid, according to her family.

The incident occurred on the morning of Oct. 6 when a man walked up to the 61-year-old woman and splashed chlorosulfuric acid in her face, according to the Philadelphia Police Department.

Jones was heading to her car, which was parked just steps away from her Germantown home of 20 years, to draw blood for patients at a nursing home when she was attacked, her daughter Aneesha Summerville told WPVI.

"There was a man there and he was like 'Hey, are you good?' As if he was inquiring about her safety making sure she was okay," Summerville said. "And when she looked up to say 'yes,' he threw the stuff in her face and ran off."

Summerville shared in a GoFundMe page created in support of Jones that the "chemical attack has left her blind in both eyes."

"Our family was not prepared for such devastation," she said on the page.

According to Summerville, the family is now dealing with "lost wages" and her mother "has a number of medical bills, trauma therapy needs, appointments, daily prescriptions, and disability service needs that are adding up quickly."

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"We are establishing this fund to help us navigate the endless bills and devastation this unknown masked man has caused Helen and our family," she wrote in the fundraiser's description. "Helen's road to recovery is just beginning and we appreciate all of you who want to help us help her."

Summerville also told WPVI that her mother does not know who attack her is, as the suspect was wearing a face mask, which most people are required to do in public due to COVID-19 regulations.

"It was totally unexpected," she said. "She saw his eyes. If she was able to see him again she would know his eyes."

Inspector Michael McCarrick of the Philadelphia Police Department previously said that the attack seemed to be "a complete random incident."

"If nothing happened in 20 years, the odds are nothing will happen again for 20 years. But with that we still have to conduct our investigation," he told WPVI.

A spokesperson for the Philadelphia Police Department tells PEOPLE on Wednesday that an investigation is ongoing with Northwest Detectives Division. No arrests have been made so far.

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