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Transgender Woman Weeps After Couple ‘Spit On Her’ In Shocking Attack On Train

by : Lucy Connolly on : 28 Jan 2020 10:15
Transgender woman weeps after assault 1Transgender woman weeps after assault 1serenajazmine/Twitter

A transgender woman who was spat on and assaulted on a New York subway openly wept in a video she posted on Twitter after the incident, saying she wishes ‘people would leave me alone’.

Multimedia journalist Serena Daniari was waiting for a train in Manhattan at around 8pm on Friday, January 24, when the shocking incident occurred.

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Serena, who is also a trans activist, said the couple approached her on the subway car and asked her whether she was man, assuming she was trans ‘upon hearing [her] voice’.

She broke down in tears in a video posted to Twitter after the assault:

The journalist, 26, captioned the heartbreaking video: ‘I was just attacked by a couple on the train. They spit on me and hit me and called me transphobic slurs.’

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In the video, Serena can be heard saying through sobs:

[I] swear I just wish people would leave me alone. I don’t do anything, I just wanna be left alone.

She told The New York Post she had her headphones in and was reading a book when a man, believed to be in his 20s, asked her a series of unintelligible questions.

Serena then took her headphones out and asked him to repeat himself, at which point she said he ‘realised [she] was transgender’. She recalled how he started saying: ‘Oh you’re a guy. You’re a guy. You’re a tranny.’

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The man then spat on her and slapped her in the face, police said. A woman, also believed to be in her 20s, then reportedly slapped Serena’s iPhone out of her hand while making ‘derogatory remarks’ when she tried to take a photo of the couple.

Serena explained:

She was saying, ‘She definitely has a d*ck, she definitely has a d*ck’.

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Police released a photo of the couple, who ran out of the station after the encounter, asking for the public’s help in tracking them down. They have since apprehended one of the suspects.

couple assault trans woman new yorkcouple assault trans woman new yorkThe Office of the Deputy Commissioner, Public Information (DCPI)

Facial recognition technology helped identify 26-year-old suspect Pablo Valle, a police source said as per New York Daily News. The source said Valle has more than 20 prior arrests, including for drugs, robbery and assault.

He was arrested in New Jersey by police from the Manhattan warrant squad, Chief of Detectives Rodney Harrison confirmed in a tweet.

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He said the arrest is proof the NYPD will not stand for hate crimes:

As I’ve said before, if you choose to commit a crime that is motivated by prejudice, you will be held accountable and brought to justice.

Mayor of New York City Bill de Blasio thanked ‘New York’s Finest’ for their ‘quick work’ in apprehending the suspects behind the ‘despicable attack’.

He then addressed ‘our transgender and non-binary community’, stating: ‘This is YOUR city. You have the right to live here without fear — and we will protect that right.’

Hopefully justice will be served for Serena, and she will find the strength to move past this traumatic experience.

If you’ve been affected by any of these issues, and want to speak to someone in confidence contact Mindline Trans+ on 0300 330 5468. The line is open Mondays and Fridays, 8 pm to midnight and is run by trans volunteers.

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Lucy Connolly

A Broadcast Journalism Masters graduate who went on to achieve an NCTJ level 3 Diploma in Journalism, Lucy has done stints at ITV, BBC Inside Out and Key 103. While working as a journalist for UNILAD, Lucy has reported on breaking news stories while also writing features about mental health, cervical screening awareness, and Little Mix (who she is unapologetically obsessed with).

Topics: News, Hate Crime, LGBTQ+, Manhattan, New York, NYPD, Trans Rights, transgender, Transphobia

Credits

Serena Daniari/Twitter and 2 others
  1. Serena Daniari/Twitter

    @serenajazmine

  2. The New York Post

    Couple attacked, spat on transgender journalist on Harlem subway platform

  3. New York Daily News

    Bust in NYC subway hate attack against transgender woman