Police have charged Rolan Reid with attempted murder as a hate crime for allegedly pushing a transgender woman onto the New York City subway tracks June 1, NYPD officials told BuzzFeed News. Police have also charged Reid, a 32-yead-old homeless man, with felony and misdemeanor assault, also classified as hate crimes.
Reid has not been arraigned in court.
A man, seen in surveillance video, had been wanted by authorities after the attack.
“There is some indication he initiated the attack because the victim is transgender,” Sergeant Lee Jones told BuzzFeed News about the assailant, adding that the woman suffered lacerations and bruises. For example, he said, the suspect asked the victim shortly before the attack, "What are you looking at?" and then fished a plastic bottle from a trash can and threw it at the victim.
The NYPD's Hate Crimes Task Force was in charge of investigating the case.
Confirmed homicides of transgender women have been unusually high in the United States in the first several months of 2015. The FBI began reporting hate crimes against transgender people for the first time in December, but critics say the official figures are implausibly low.
The 28-year-old woman, who has not been identified, was waiting for the southbound 6 subway at the Bleeker Street station at about 9:00 a.m. Monday when the man approached her, police said. After asking the woman what she was looking at, police said the man “ran to a garbage pail where he removed an empty plastic bottle. The suspect then threw the bottle at the victim and proceeded to push the victim onto the tracks.”
Sergeant Jones said she suffered lacerations on her chin and bruises on her chin and arms.
Nearby commuters helped pull the woman back onto the subway platform, Sergeant Jones said. Authorities took the woman to Bellevue Hospital, where she was treated and released.