A 28-year-old trans woman was beaten by four men on a Bushwick street at about 11:20 p.m. on October 12, according to the New York City Police Department.
The incident, which police say occurred outside of 1250 Bushwick Avenue near Halsey Street and involved the perpetrators making “anti-gay statements,” is being investigated by the NYPD’s Hate Crime Task Force.
The woman, whose name has not been released, was a client of New Alternatives for Homeless LGBT Youth. Kate Barnhart, the group’s executive director, said the victim was walking with a gay friend when the men approached them “and asked what they were doing in the neighborhood.”
Barnhart added, “When they figured out from her voice that she was transgender, they starting calling her a ‘faggot’ and beating her with a 2 X 4.”
Media reports have cited NYPD sources describing the weapon as a plexiglass board.
The victim’s friend was able to escape without injury, Barnhart said. According to Barnhart, a bystander captured cell phone video of the incident and police have surveillance video as well as the weapon used in the attack.
“She is listed in stable condition,” Barnart said of the victim, “but it is not clear if she will have permanent brain damage.” According to the NYPD, the victim was “transported to Elmhurst Hospital in critical condition.”
Barnhart added, “It is outrageous that transgender people are still not safe in what is supposed to be the safest LGBT city in the world.”
Advocates are planning a rally this evening, October 14, at 7 p.m. at the site of the assault. The Halsey Street stop on the J train is the most convenient transit station for 1250 Bushwick Avenue.
The October 12 attack was at least the second anti-LGBT bias incident in recent weeks in Bushwick. Three men have been charged in connection with the shooting of a 22-year-old man on September 27 at about 7 a.m. on Broadway near Putnam Avenue.
According to media reports as well as information from the Kings County District Attorney’s Office and the New York City Anti-Violence Project, the victim identifies as a gay man and was, with several friends, dressed in feminine clothing when they were approached by three men who yelled slurs including “faggots” and “tranny.” When the victim and his friends tried to leave, the victim was shot in the buttocks. After treatment at Brookdale Hospital, he was released.
Police charged 21-year-old Matthew Smith with attempted murder, assault, criminal possession of a weapon, and menacing, all as hate crimes. Cody Sigue, 22, and Tavon Johnson, 17, were charged with menacing and aggravated harassment, both as hate crimes.
While one media source identified the victim by name, at this point Gay City News is not doing so. –– Additional reporting by Paul Schindler