A 15-year-old transgender girl was stabbed by a man on board a Washington D.C. train on Wednesday afternoon, according to Transit Police.
The victim is being treated for a non-life threatening puncture wound to the back caused by a 3.5-inch folding knife. She is in stable condition, according to the release.
The statement by Transit Police identifies the suspect as 24-year-old Reginald Anthony Klaiber.
Klaiber has been charged with assault with a deadly weapon. The charge has the possibility of further penalties for hate or bias motivation.
According to the statement, witnesses told police Klaiber made biased remarks about the victim’s gender identity just before the assault took place.
Jae-la White, a friend of the victim who was with her at the time of the stabbing, told The Washington Blade: “He came to my friend and said, ‘You have red hair.’ My friend said, ‘Ok,’ and then he said, ‘Oh, you’re a man!’”
“Then he started bothering my friend. 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.’”
White told The Blade the suspect then started to hug the victim. When her friend began to scream, White realized that the suspect was stabbing her friend.
The victim was able to break free after another friend pepper sprayed the attacker.
The victim and her friends ran out of the train and into Fort Totten station with the attacker close behind, according to White.
Police arrived soon after because of an emergency call button triggered inside the car during the incident. Klaiber was immediately taken into custody.
He is expected to appear before D.C. Superior Court today.