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Posted on Fri, Feb 10, 2012 : 12:30 p.m.

Woman needs cornea transplant after attacker throws liquid in her face

By Cindy Heflin

A Northfield Township woman will need a cornea transplant after a man threw liquid in her face and burned her eyes, police said.

The woman was unloading her car in her driveway in the 5300 block of Sutton Road Tuesday night when a man came around the corner of her house wearing a ski mask, Northfield Township police said in an emailed alert.

The woman told police the man approached her around 6:30 p.m. carrying a red plastic cup in his left hand and either a gun or a knife in his right hand. He came up to her and threw the liquid in her eyes, then ran down her driveway toward Sutton Road, police said.

The woman immediately felt a burning sensation in her eyes and called to her daughter to dial 911. Officers from the Northfield Police Department, Green Oak, Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Office and the Ann Arbor police responded, along with medical personnel. A police dog determined the suspect had left the area.

Detroit television station WJBK identified the woman as Alison Novick. She said she felt like her skin was burning. "All I could think of was I'm going to die right here," she told the station.

The suspect is described as white, 6 feet tall and 180 pounds. He was wearing light-colored blue jeans, a light green camouflage jacket and had a black ski mask pulled over his face.

The victim suffered permanent eye damage that will require a cornea transplant, police said. Samples of the liquid were sent to the Michigan State Police Crime Lab for analysis.

Anyone having any information about the attack is encouraged to call Officer Mark Jensen with the Northfield Township Police Department at 734-449-9911.


Susanne Brace

Sat, Feb 11, 2012 : 4:51 a.m.

I hope she can find a donor! The first thing I thought of when I read this was how my mother's organs were donated, and that they were able to use her corneas and had found a recipient. After that I signed up to be a donor myself. The death of a loved one is difficult at best, but knowing she was still able to help people was amazing.


Sat, Feb 11, 2012 : 7:56 p.m.

Susanne, there will be no problem with getting a cornea, since the Michigan Eye-Bank always has corneas in stock because of donors like your mother. This victim of this terrible crime will no doubt be in touch with an cornea surgeon, an ophthalmologist, who will be able to quickly perform the transplant.


Sat, Feb 11, 2012 : 10:23 a.m.

Susanne, I think you are the one that is amazing. It was a very generous thing to donate your mother's organs to help another person (or persons) and even moreso that you signed up as an organ donor yourself! Thank you for your post.


Sat, Feb 11, 2012 : 3:30 a.m.

Best wishes to this poor woman, I (and many others) hope you make a swift and complete recovery. I agree with others here: this seems to be a planned and purposeful ambush attack. The assailant was already on the woman's property and knew or had some assurance that she would be arriving at the time she did. He was prepared: carried the corrosive liquid in a plastic cup which had to be filled from a more secure container. It's very unlikely this could have been a random, unplanned attack. That in turn says there was a motive -which could only mean this woman has an enemy who targeted her - she should know something about who that might be. Lets hope that investigators make quick work of this guy. I'm sure we'll all be glad when he stands trial and is sentenced "appropriately."


Sat, Feb 11, 2012 : 10:18 a.m.

Tru: Before we make assumptions in the story, take a look at Katie Piper, <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a> , who was attacked with acid and then link to the story at WJBK above.


Sat, Feb 11, 2012 : 2:13 a.m.

There are a lot of very sick individuals out there. Be careful, whether these incidents are linked to prior relationships is unknown (AA and Vancouver), but in any case, they are terrible. These kinds of violent acts are unfortunately becoming more frequent. Some days it pays to avoid the news.

steve h

Sat, Feb 11, 2012 : 3:20 p.m.

Thank you so much for your wonderful insight and advice


Sat, Feb 11, 2012 : 1:52 a.m.

very similar to this story: <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a>


Sat, Feb 11, 2012 : 12:35 a.m.

Eye damage without facial burns? Not likely. Something is missing from the story as reported. I wish this woman a speedy recovery.


Sat, Feb 11, 2012 : 6:45 p.m.

steve: Everyone on the internet is either a doctor or a lawyer! From your comment, I take it you are the latter. Jim: Absolutely speculation. Just seems like something is not being told in the story, but it doesn't change the fact that we all wish this woman well and hope she regains use of her eye.

Jim Osborn

Sat, Feb 11, 2012 : 4:22 p.m.

Speculation, but my eye tissue is so much more sensitive than my skin. It could even get a minor redness that I can't imagine for my eyes. Think how soap on your skin is your eyes is not.

steve h

Sat, Feb 11, 2012 : 1 p.m.

Thank you doctor


Fri, Feb 10, 2012 : 9:57 p.m.

This is scary, I hope the woman will be alright.


Fri, Feb 10, 2012 : 7:48 p.m.

This awful story is reminiscent of an acid throwing attack on a young woman, Katie Piper, in London a few years ago. In that case, it was carried out by a stranger on behalf of a guy she had been dating (who had recently raped her and held her hostage for a time). The accomplice simply walked up to her and threw sulphuric acid on her face, leaving her disfigured. The nature of this local crime and the circumstances also certainly suggest a strong likelihood of that the assailant has a personal connection, or was put up to it by someone who does. Hopefully the victim has some ideas who that might be and police are working on it.


Fri, Feb 10, 2012 : 7:31 p.m.

While this is truly terrible, let's not lose our perspective and think this is likely to happen every time you go outside. I do hope they find the perp and crush his soul, however.


Fri, Feb 10, 2012 : 6:59 p.m.

I see a lawsuit coming when this suspect is caught. Apparently theft was not his intention. (and then just running back down the driveway). I hope the woman recovers, and hopefully she might just know the suspect when this all comes out in the wash. We have to be so careful....sometimes I panic just letting my dog out in the middle of the night. I turn the porch light on, then the security lights come on, and look all around before I open the door. (and lock it again while he is out).


Sat, Feb 11, 2012 : 1:07 a.m.

Sounds to me like this was exactly his intention. Why else would someone throw a cup of liquid in someone's face? Sounds very intentional to me.


Fri, Feb 10, 2012 : 6:05 p.m.

Bizarre. Sounds like something that would happen in the Middle East....per news reports that I've read.


Sat, Feb 11, 2012 : 9:37 p.m.

I just read an article out of Ontario. This guy killed his wife because she bore him two daughters. Divorced this wife and then remarried another who gave him a son. Go figure. Both are now doing time. Both were from the middle east. Scary stuff.


Sat, Feb 11, 2012 : 5:30 p.m.

I wonder if something like this is related? Ethnic stuff like that? Wow. Good luck to the woman. Glad to hear that a cornea plant is the only thing needed. Could have been a lot worse.


Sat, Feb 11, 2012 : 12:50 a.m.

Right, because domestic violence *never* happens in America. Are you also speculating on the ethnic background of the victim and/or perpetrator here?


Fri, Feb 10, 2012 : 11:06 p.m.

I see now that I was wrong, that this is common in the Middle East, according to your link the countries of Cambodia, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan (the center of the Middle East) have been plagued by this problem, usually (Once again, your link) because of refusual of dowry, enforcement of the caste system or punishement for not wearing a veil. I'm not sure that link says what you think it does


Fri, Feb 10, 2012 : 9:21 p.m.

@burl: I'm not sure if you're being sarcastic, but acid attacks are common enough in the Middle East to make Western news outlets. Here's your homework: <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a>


Fri, Feb 10, 2012 : 6:50 p.m.

Yeah, I remember reading just a rash of articles about complete strangers throwing acidic liquids in peoples faces for no reason whatsoever over in the Middle East...scary to think something like that could happen here, instead of the Middle East, where this is, unfortunantly all too common...


Fri, Feb 10, 2012 : 5:49 p.m.

That's awful! Sounds personal, but would have liked to hear about this sooner. I know of a different type of incident that was not reported to the public as well that happened in a business parking lot on Lohr Rd. Charges have not been filed so I assume that's why. I wish Washtenaw County could send us alerts when something this awful happens.


Sat, Feb 11, 2012 : 3:03 a.m.

This is farmville, there couldn't possibly be some random person out there in the sticks doing this. It was personal.


Fri, Feb 10, 2012 : 6:33 p.m.

Thank you Ann23! I'll check it out.


Fri, Feb 10, 2012 : 6:23 p.m.

If you sign-up at they will send you alerts by email or text. They send traffic alerts too. The alert on this didn't come out until around noon today though.


Fri, Feb 10, 2012 : 6:01 p.m.

I agree, why on earth?