The FBI released a statement on Thursday, asking help from the public in finding Donna Joan Borup. Borup is wanted for “allegedly throwing an acidic substance into the eyes of Port Authority Police Officer Evan Goodstein,” said the press release posted by the FBI’s New York Field Office. The incident occurred during an anti-apartheid demonstration at JFK International Airport. The substance caused Officer Goodstein to become partially blind.
Borup was a member of the May 19th Communist Organization at the time of the assault. The May 19 Communist Organization, also known as M19CO, was a Marxist-Leninist group that “advocated the armed revolution and violent overthrow of the United States government,” explained the FBI.
M19CO originally acted as a support group for Weather Underground, a well-known radical group during the 1970s that conducted a string of bombings in the New York City area. The May 19 Communist Organization was active until 1985.
Borup was arrested for the assault and later released on bail pending a trial in May 1982. After Borup failed to appear for trial, an arrest warrant was issued on May 20th, that same year.
The FBI asks those along the East Coast, as it’s believed that Borup has family in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, to keep their eyes peeled and to contact authorities with any information regarding sightings or the case.
Asking for the public’s help is not a new technique, and the most famous example of this type of cooperation between authorities and the public was the recently-cancelled America’s Most Wanted, a television show on the Fox Television Network that displayed fugitives and a hotline for anonymous tips. The difference now is that press releases are automatically posted on the FBI’s Facebook and Twitter pages. People can even get press release updates through email or RSS feed. The ability to re-post information on blogs has also helped expand the social reach of government agencies.
A wanted poster featuring Borup—with both her old photo and one that shows how she might look at her current age—is currently on a billboard in Times Square.