NYC subway rider who was victim of random acid attack says city should not be emptying jails

A New York City subway rider is speaking out about the soft-on-crime policies that are slowly but surely wrecking her city.

Juanita Jimenez, 22, is her name, and she knows all about these policies because she herself is a victim of NYC crime. According to the New York Post, two years ago a stranger threw sulfuric acid in her face at a Brooklyn train station. A year later, she’s still struggling to recover.

“I always thought something like this can’t happen to me – I’m such a nice person, it couldn’t be me…[but] it really could just be anybody,” she told the Post. “We didn’t get into an argument, I didn’t know her, I didn’t have anything with her and it still occurred.”

The incident occurred on Dec. 2nd, 2022 as Jimenez was exiting a southbound train en route to her job at a nearby hospital — when suddenly a lunatic woman, Rodlin Gravesande, splashed sulfuric acid in her face.

@juanita.dgaf Replying to @kikiswindlesNYC Yes, I am the victim of that assault, unfortunately. It was unprovoked, but here’s the details of the crime. #foryoupage #fyp #nyc #la ♬ A Day in My Life – Soft boy

“I just had a gut feeling that something was weird, but I didn’t think something would happen to me,” Jimenez recalled. “I felt the pain immediately – it felt like my face was on fire. I thought it was poison.”

“I was panicking and just crying because I didn’t understand why me. It was just a rollercoaster of emotions at that time,” she added.

She wound up suffering third-degree burns to the entire left side of her face. Parts of her left nostril and lips were reportedly destroyed.

“I can’t work, I can’t really leave my home … Everywhere I go people are like, ‘Oh my god, what happened?’ Because my story is on my face,” she said.

@juanita.dgaf today makes only 2 weeks since surgery join me in my road to recovery! 🙂 #foryoupage #fyp #nyc #la ♬ she was a fairy – ୨ৎ

The good news is that Gravesande was arrested a month after the attack in Atlanta and has been locked up since in Rikers Island on a $250,000 bail. The problem is she’s barely facing any time.

“I think a minimum of 10 years is what she’s facing . . . But in 10 years, I’ll still be doing surgery, I’ll still be having experiences from PTSD and she’ll be free, which doesn’t feel right,” Jimenez said.

“If there’s literal evidence of a person committing a crime that’s heinous, I don’t feel like they should be out of jail — they’ll just get out and do it again, just like what’s going on right now,” she added.

And indeed, this isn’t even Gravesande’s first crime.

She “was previously busted in 2014 in Brownsville for a domestic assault against her child’s father,” the Post notes.

Meanwhile, Jimenez had to quit her job and has accumulated over $60,000 in medical debt thanks to Gravesande’s actions.

@juanita.dgaf #CapCut ♬ original sound – Baby girl✨❤️

Thankfully, she’s finally starting to recover.

“She has continued her pursuit of a college degree, started a tattooing business, and connected with other burn and assault victims through TikTok,” the Post notes.

“Finally getting my confidence back after surviving an acid attack,” she wrote in one recent TikTok video’s caption.

“Another Feb. 6 video shows Jimenez, with her face wrapped in medical gauze, saying ‘skrrrt’ — a slang terms which means to get away from something — as a hospital employee pushes her in a wheelchair. She captioned the clip: ‘When you take nothing serious,'” according to the Post.

She was eventually cut a break when she met Los Angeles-based plastic surgeon Dr. Carl Truesdale, whom she reportedly contacted after watching his TikTok videos about facial reconstruction.

During their first appointment, Truesdale offered to fix her face for free using money from a foundation he runs that performs free reconstruction surgery.

“When I met [Jimenez], I really loved her story…and I was really happy to do this for her,” the doctor told the Post.

“I am super thankful for Dr. Truesdale,” Jimenez said, adding that she’s healing “really well” from the latest procedure.

More procedures are expected.

“We don’t really know how many more are left, it just depends how they go,” she said.

But she vowed to remain strong through it: “I want to show to whoever has been through trauma, that there’s so much more to them than that trauma.”

Vivek Saxena

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