Second Acid Attack in One Week Leaves Woman Scarred

A possibly copycat attack has left a second woman burnt in under one week.

Sept. 4, 2010 -- A second acid attack in under a week has left another woman recovering from severe second degree burns on her face and chest. The attack, which occurred in Mesa, Ariz., on Friday, is suspected to be a copycat crime of a similar attack earlier last week.

Derri Velarde, 41, told KPNX T-V in Arizona that she was in an apartment complex parking lot when an unidentified woman flung liquid into her face and ran off.

"I saw... a woman, you know, walking up, with what looked like a drink of water in her hand," Velarde said. "It immediately just started to burn, I was on fire."

Mesa police combed the area for the suspect and do not feel that this was a random act of violence. Many now believe that this is a copycat crime of Monday's incident in Washington.

On the Monday prior to the attack on Velarde, 28-year-old Bethany Storro of was attacked by a complete stranger outside of a coffee shop in Vancouver, Wash.

"A woman approached her and said, 'Hey pretty girl,' and she turned around and she asked if she wanted something to drink, and my daughter said, 'No,'" Storro's mother, Nancy Neuwelt told reporters.

The attacker, who Storro described to "Good Morning America" as having a look of jealousy and rage about her, then threw a cup of liquid at her face.

"It was like it almost didn't hurt right away because of the panic, you know, like, what just happened, and you're so focused on that, and then once I let it soak in I could start to feel it burning through my flesh," Storro said from her hospital bed, her head covered in gauze.

Luckily, Storro had made an impulse purchase of a new pair of sunglasses just 20 minutes before the attack. She says that she doesn't normally wear sunglasses, but that decision may have saved her eyesight.

"Why did you? Did you wake up that morning and go, 'I'm going to, I'm going to carry some acid in a cup and throw it at the first person that I see? Was it a dare? You know, why me?" Storro said to reporters Thursday at Portland, Oregon's Legacy Emanuel Hospital.

"God is watching over me. … I believe in him," she added. "That his hands are on me and I can't live the rest of my life like that – in fear. I can't let what she did to me wreck me life."

Similar attacks are more common in countries like Cambodia, Afghanistan and Pakistan, where women are attacked by men who feel emasculated because of marriage refusal or sexual disgrace. These attacks -- whatever the motivation may be -- are increasingly occurring in western countries.

Brad Garrett, ABC News consultant and former FBI Profiler says that 80 percent of acid attacks are perpetrated by men, but in cases of women attackers, the motivations are similar.

"You're talking about rage, power and anger as the primary motivators," Garrett told "Good Morning America." "The perpetrator wants the person to suffer for the rest of their lives. These crimes are actually evil."

"The motivations are about something that a person has done that another does not like," Garrett added. "I think if you look at high profile crime, there will be copycats afterwards. People use it as a justification to commit an act they have been thinking about."