The New York Police Department’s Hate Crimes Task Force is investigating an incident in which a man violently assaulted and threatened to stab a woman inside a Manhattan subway station.
Police say the attack occurred around 7:45 a.m. on Saturday at the Canal Street N/Q/R/W subway station in Chinatown. The victim, a 24-year-old woman was outside of the turnstile at the station when she was accosted by a man in his 50s.
The attacker yelled “You don’t belong here!” and “You d***s need to get out of here!” at the woman, lobbing an anti-lesbian slur at her, according to radio news station 92.3 FM.
The man punched the victim, and then punched her a second time in her right eye when she attempted to record the attack on her phone.
The man brandished a sharp object resembling a hair pick, threatening to stab her, reports the New York Post.
No arrests have been made in the case, which remains under investigation, according to an NYPD spokesman.
Attacks against subway riders, particularly those who appear to be LGBTQ, have become commonplace in recent years. Earlier this year, a gay investment banker was fatally shot in the chest while riding the subway. In a separate incident, a man threatened and then assaulted a 22-year-old subway rider due to the victim’s perceived sexual orientation.
Several other headline-grabbing attacks have taken place on public transit, especially after the city began opening up following the end of social distancing restrictions that were put in place during the COVID-19 pandemic. Those acts of violence, and the fear they inspired in the wider population, were used as political wedge issues in last month’s midterm elections, particularly in New York’s gubernatorial race.
Besides the attacks on public transit, New York’s LGBTQ community has been on edge lately due to a rash of incidents in which people claim to have been drugged and awake to find their bank accounts have been emptied. In two of those incidents, the victims died of overdoses, despite not having had a history of drug use — leading one victim’s mother to blast Democrats as being “soft” on crime and appearing in commercials supporting U.S. Rep. Lee Zeldin’s candidacy for governor.
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