The New York City Police Department is searching for a suspect who punched a 15-year-old transgender girl in the face multiple times and then continued to harass her on social media afterwards.
The young girl was assaulted on January 18, outside W.H. Maxwell Career and Technical Education High School in Brooklyn’s East New York neighborhood after the suspect, who is described as “lanky” and is believed to be a teenager as well, began cursing her out over her gender identity, reports the New York Daily News.
The suspect reportedly made several transphobic remarks during the attack, hitting the 15-year-old in the face multiple times. She suffered minor injuries and bruising to her face, but refused medical attention.
The victim told detectives from NYPD’s Hate Crimes Task Force that she didn’t know who attacked her. But detectives soon learned that the suspect had gone on Snapchat and harassed the victim for being transgender, police say.
Police released a photo of the alleged suspect last Friday, in the hope of enlisting the public’s help to identify him.
Anyone with information about the incident can confidentially report it by calling the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477) or for Spanish-language speakers, 1-888-57-PISTA (74782). Tips can also be submitted through the CrimeStoppers website at by messaging @NYPDTips on Twitter.
Last year, NYPD reported that hate crimes had increased by 100 percent, compared with 2020. For anti-LGBTQ hate crimes specifically, incidents jumped 193 percent, from 29 victims in 2020 to 85 victims in 2021.
Since the relaxing of some pandemic-era restrictions, many cities have seen a spike in crimes rates as people start resuming “normal” activities and the pool of potential victims expands. A significant portion of those crimes have involved LGBTQ victims. For instance, a man allegedly menaced other man with a knife and hurled a homophobic slur at the victim after they accidentally bumped into each other. That same month, a gay man was beaten with a metal pipe and robbed of his walker on Coney Island while he was trying to bring food to homeless people on the boardwalk.
Two months prior to that, a man allegedly punched a woman on a train for holding hands with her girlfriend. Last summer, New York City police arrested a Manhattan man for allegedly punching three people in a subway attack that appeared to be motivated by the sexual orientation of one of his victims.
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