23-Year-Old Burned After Shielding Fiancée From Man Allegedly Tossing Flaming Liquid On Subway

(Photo by Gary Hershorn/Getty Images)

Hailey Gomez General Assignment Reporter
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Petrit Alijaj, 23, jumped in front of his fiancée Saturday while riding a New York City subway, protecting her from a man who allegedly tossed flaming liquid, the New York Post reported.

Alijaj was sitting on the No. 1 train Saturday afternoon with his fiancée and cousin as they hoped to head to the Statue of Liberty, according to the outlet. When the train pulled into a lower Manhattan station, however, the suspect, identified as Nile Taylor, was allegedly holding a cup in his hand which contained a flaming liquid, according to the outlet. (RELATED: Video Shows Horrific Aftermath Of Deadly Stabbing In Dem-Run City)

“He had a cup,” Alijaj told the outlet, describing the insides of what Taylor had “like oil, he made fire and he threw it all.”

As Taylor allegedly tossed the liquid towards Alijaj’s fiancée and cousin, Alijaj was able to turn his body to shield the two, the outlet reported. Alijaj’s shirt immediately caught on fire, prompting him to flee the train and attempt to put out the fire by slapping himself, according to the outlet. Following the arrival of first responders, Alijaj was photographed without a shirt, his upper torso and face appearing to be a bright pink, according to the outlet.

New York Fire Department (FDNY) personnel showered Alijaj’s burns with water, according to the New York Post. Alijaj was not initially concerned with their severity but changed his mind after being taken to New York Presbyterian-Weill Cornell Hospital and realizing he was covered in blisters, the outlet reported. Doctors later revealed to Alijaj that 30% of his body “was burnt” as he suffered from burns on his “neck, ears, chest, arms and left hand,” according to the New York Post.

Following the incident Taylor allegedly attempted to flee the scene, only to be apprehended shortly thereafter by police who tracked a cellphone he had picked up on the train, the New York Post reported.

The incident is the second time in four months in which someone tossed flaming liquid onto a passenger, the outlet reported.

In early March 2024, following a surge in crimes on the public transportation, Democratic New York Gov. Kathy Hochul announced her plan of bolstering the city’s subways with 750 National Guard troops and 250 state troopers in order to allow passengers to feel safer. Since the announcement, however, crime continues on the trains, with one of the more deadly incidents resulting in a 36-year-old man being shot during an altercation with another male in mid-March 2024.