Burning pain Acid attack victim unaware of real extent of horrifi c injuries, says brother G. PRAKASH Wednesday, August 17th, 2011 10:44:00
EMPTY SHELL: The attack has not only robbed Mohd Rafie of his future but also taken away his spirit and looks — Pix: SAMSUL SAID
KUALA LUMPUR: The victim had a face of undeniable good looks. The attacker represents the face of unspeakable evil.
These contrasting features emerged yesterday as the family of acid attack victim Mohd Rafie Abd Latiff, 28, hoped the lunatic would be quickly found just as the police released a photofit of a suspect.
The victim's brother, Army Mejar Mohd Jeffry Abd Latiff, said the family had accepted Mohd Rafie had lost his future, career, spirit and looks.
"He is left with an empty shell. A part of him has died and that will never return," he said, flanking a heavily-bandaged Mohd Rafie, who is recovering in the intensive care unit of Kuala Lumpur Hospital.
"We're going to get through this…we are not going to allow this to stop our lives. I hope the faith and support from family and friends will keep Rafie steady and bring him through this."
Surgeons are trying to save the sight in the left eye of Mohd Rafie, who also suffered horrific injuries on his face and right hand, after a stranger thrust a container of acid at him from point-blank range.
The acid was said to be so corrosive it burned through his clothes. Doctors and authorities are trying to determine what kind of substance caused the burns.
Yesterday was Mohd Rafie's eighth day in hospital since the attack took place on Aug 8 about 1.30am.
Mohd Jeffry, 35, said his brother had no idea of the extent of his injuries. "I tell him everyday that his injuries are bad and that he has to make himself strong enough to face his injuries."
He described the sight of seeing his brother for the first time at the hospital as "unbearable". "When I saw my brother lying there, in that condition, I started crying."
Recalling the incident related to him by his brother, Mohd Jeffry said the attack could be related to an earlier incident involving a car driven by his brother's friend, Mohd Zaid Haris, 23, that grazed another vehicle in Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman where they had gone for Hari Raya shopping.
He said soon after the mishap, the other car apparently trailed the friends.
Mohd Zaid then stopped the car at a public toilet area next to Wisma Bumi to use the restroom while Mohd Rafie remained in the front passenger seat.
"Suddenly, a man appeared from nowhere and opened the car door. Before my brother could react, the man splashed corrosive substance on him."
Mohd Zaid heard his friend's screams and rushed to his aid, only to see him slumped on the seat.
Bystanders who went to his aid told Mohd Zaid what had happened and that two others were in a black Proton Wira when the incident occurred.
Police traced the suspect through street video surveillance cameras and matched it with a man involved in a robbery at a petrol station toilet in Sungai Besi last month.
In that hold-up, a dispatch rider, who had just cashed out company funds totaling RM18,000, was splashed with acid before being robbed.
Police release acid-splasher photofit
COULD-BE-ATTACKER: Police released this photofit of the man believed to be involved<br />in the attack
CITY police have released a photofit of a man believed to be involved in the attack on Mohd Rafie Abd Latif on Aug 8.
City deputy CID chief ACP Khairy Arasa said police had come up with the photofit after interviewing the victim, his friend and other witnesses.
"We have also retrieved several CCTV images from Jalan Raja Laut and Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman."
Police investigation revealed the suspect was also involved in a robbery on July 26 where he had also used acid and attacked a man before robbing him of RM18,000.
In that incident, the 35-year-old victim had just cashed out a company cheque and was on his way to the office.
"When the victim stopped at a petrol station in Jalan Sungai Besi and went to the restroom, the suspect trailed him and splashed a corrosive liquid before taking the money away."
Khairy said the victim blocked the liquid with a bag he was holding and suffered only burn marks, mostly on the hand.
In both cases, the suspect had used a black Proton Wira with the vehicle registration number WLC 1475.
Police checks on the vehicle registration number revealed it was a fake.
Those with information can contact Rakan Cop at 03-2115 9999 or any police station.