This just in: police say a 15-year-old transgender teenager was stabbed in the back on a Green Line Metro train at around 4:30 this afternoon. WRC-TV, the NBC affiliate in Washington, D.C., reports:
[The teen] sustained non-life threatening injuries and a man is in custody in connetion with the attack. D.C. police are investigating whether the teen being transgender is a motive for the stabbing.
The teen's friends told News4's Kristin Wright the suspect came up to the group inside the train and was insulting the victim's appearance, asking why she was wearing a wig and commenting on what she was wearing.
UPDATE: Here's video.
Side note: "Transgendered [sic]?" We clearly have a lot of public education left to do on trans issues.
Lou Chibbaro Jr. of the Washington Blade has many more details --
Jae-la White, 19, one of two friends accompanying the victim on the train at the time of the stabbing, told the Blade in a telephone interview that the attacker approached the victim and began making disparaging remarks about her appearance shortly after he boarded the train at the West Hyattsville Station. "He came to my friend and said you have red hair," White said. "My friend said ok, and then he said, 'Oh, you're a man!'"
"Then he started bothering my friend," said White. "My friend got up out of her seat to go by the door while the train was moving and told him to please leave her alone. He faced her and said I will stab you up and blow your brains out."
In a harrowing account of what followed, White said the attacker next "started to hug" the victim in a sexually suggestive way. Seconds later, White said, the victim began to scream and White and their other friend, a 17-year-old man, realized that the attacker was stabbing their friend. According to White, the 17-year-old friend pulled out a canister of mace and squirted the attacker in the face, enabling the victim to break free.
"He started holding his face. We all started running for our life, running through the car doors to the last car," said White. "The man was following behind us but he fell back in the second to the last car and he was just watching us." In the midst of the commotion and in a panic, White said she frantically pushed the emergency call button in one of the train cars and screamed for help...
As White tells it, the unfolding ordeal for the three friends didn't end when the train stopped at the station. "He then started chasing us with the knife upstairs and through the station," White told the Blade, adding that to her horror, there were no transit police to be found. After the police finally arrived, in what she said seemed like an eternity, it took four officers to subdue and handcuff the suspect.
Metro spokesperson Dan Stessel told Chibbaro that police have charged the suspect with assault with a deadly weapon, and that the crime is classified as a bias-related crime, which could result in additional jail time.