NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – A woman has recanted her story after telling police a stranger sprayed her in the face with a caustic substance, causing severe burns.
In an exclusive interview with CBS2’s Erin Logan, 52-year-old Lizzie Dunn claimed she was attacked around 11:40 a.m. Monday at Carlton Boulevard and Woodrow Road in the Annadale section of Staten Island.
On Tuesday evening, police sources told CBS2 Dunn recanted her story, admitting to police that she harmed herself.
Dunn had previously claimed she was walking alone to a bus stop when she was approached by another woman who asked her for cigarettes and money.
“She had a nice tone to her voice and her tone started to change when I didn’t I have the second thing she requested,” she told Logan from her hospital bed. “And she seemed angry when she talked to me the next time she said, ‘Do you at least have the time?’ I just kept walking, I didn’t respond and I think that triggered something in her.”
When Dunn refused, she said the suspect grabbed her shoulders and sprayed her in the face with what sources said was some type of sulfuric acid.
“It seemed like she was spraying a lot of times, like she had to keep pressing nozzle,” she said. “With my right hand I tried to grab the can and knock it out of her hand and with the left hand I was trying to shield whatever spray she was misting on me.”
Dunn staggered into Rocco’s Deli, where employee Andrew Kenwood called 911.
“It was really, really nasty. I felt bad,” Kenwood said. “She couldn’t breathe, I thought she was having a heart attack.”
Dunn told Logan she felt helpless. She couldn’t scream because she was afraid to get anything in her mouth.
“My neck is stinging and I feel like the skin is melting. I can’t feel my lip,” she said. “I’d rather die than to feel that pain again ever.”
She suffered second-degree burns on the left side of her face and scalp. Police have not determined if she’ll face charges of filing a false police report.