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Police in New York City are investigating a possible hate crime after a transgender woman was stabbed with a screwdriver by a man while riding the subway.
The incident happened just before 12:30 p.m. at the Broadway and Fulton Street subway station in Lower Manhattan.
The victim, Nina Grey, entered the station and boarded the southbound A train, when the suspect made an anti-gay comment while holding a screwdriver in his hand.
“As soon as I took my seat, in that split second I was being called a [expletive] trans,” Grey told WABC.
The man lunged at her with the screwdriver as the train pulled into the Fulton Street stop.
Grey says she used mace on her attacker, and tried to escape, but he followed her and stabbed her with the screwdriver, resulting in injuries to her head, torso, and legs. A passerby intervened, prompting her attacker to flee.
Grey was taken to New York-Presbyterian Lower Manhattan Hospital and treated for non-life-threatening injuries, according to the New York Post.
Police have yet to release surveillance video of the incident and no arrests have been made yet. They described the suspect as a man in his 40s, wearing a white do-rag.
NYPD Chief of Department Rodney Harrison confirmed at a news conference that the attack is being investigated by the Hate Crimes Task Force.
The attack against Grey is one of several violent incidents where people have been attacked on public transit, with attacks ticking up as people began coming out in public as the city began easing shutdowns and social distancing restrictions imposed amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Transit officials say that having NYPD police officers ramp up patrols on the subway has had an impact, with violent assaults down more than 50% in the past two weeks.
“We have seen a downward trend which is great, but it is not sufficient to make us take our foot off the pedal,” MTA Chief Safety Officer Pat Warren said in a statement. “We have got to get to a point where customers feel comfortable in the system.”
Grey said she already felt uncomfortable as a trans woman, which is why she was carrying the mace on her person.
“I just wish that all of this hate could stop. Not just in the LGBT community, but all across the board,” Grey told WABC. “Because people lives matter not just trans, Black, Hispanic, Asian lives — people’s lives matter and I think that’s the point people matter.”
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