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Man who spat at and slapped trans woman in ‘loathsome transphobic attack’ arrested by police

Vic Parsons January 29, 2020
Trans woman Serena Daniari (L) alleged she was spat on and verbally assaulted by a couple (R). (Screen capture via Twitter/@serenajazmine)

Trans woman Serena Daniari (L) alleged she was spat on and verbally assaulted by a couple (R). (Screen capture via Twitter/@serenajazmine)

Police in New York have arrested a man suspected of attacking a trans woman on the subway.

Serena Daniari was attacked by a couple, who spat on her, slapped her in the face and called her a “t****y” in an unprovoked attack.

New York police chief Rodney Harrison tweeted: “Great job by Manhattan Warrants apprehending this suspect in NJ. Thank you to everyone who called in with information.

“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.”

Police sources have identified the suspect as Pablo Valle, 26, who they said also goes by the name “Pablo Escobar”.

Valle has 27 prior requests, including for drug possession, assault, grand larceny and robbery, the police source told the New York Post.

New York City mayor Bill de Blasio denounced the attackers, after Serena Daniari posted a Twitter video describing what happened.

“Serena, on behalf of your city, I’m so sorry this happened,” de Blasio said.

“Transgender and non-binary New Yorkers deserve to travel in their city without fear,” he added.

De Blasio later confirmed that the New York Police Department’s hate crimes unit is investing the “loathsome, transphobic attack” and called for witnesses to help identify the alleged suspects.

In the video she posted on Twitter after the attack, Daniari is crying and has mascara running down her face. She says “I just want to be left alone” before explaining how a couple attacked her on the subway.

Daniari was on the C train, which serves between 168th Street in Washington Heights, Manhattan, and Euclid Avenue in East New York, Brooklyn, when she claims a couple slapped her, spat on her and tossed transphobic slurs at her at around 9pm on January 24.

Police say the man asked the 26-year-old victim if she was man, before allegedly slapping her in the face and spitting on her. The woman then allegedly slapped the victim’s phone out of her hand, abc7 reported.

“I just wish people would leave me alone,” she said in a video, clutching her book with hands tangled in her earphone wires.

“I didn’t do anything,” she continued, dabbing her eyes, “I just wanna be left alone.”

More: Bill de Blasio, Hate crime, New York, Serena Daniari

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