By Parker Marie Molloy
Originally published on Advocate.com July 31 2014 6:15 PM ET
A 24-year-old man in Washington, D.C., has been arrested after he allegedly stabbed a 15-year-old transgender girl aboard a Metro train.
According to District police, Reginald Anthony Klaiber verbally harassed the victim, making comments about her appearance.
According to one witness, Klaiber called the 15-year-old girl a "man," at which point she asked Klaiber to leave her alone, left her seat, and moved closer to the train's door. Klaiber got up from his seat, put his arms around her, and proceeded to stab her in the back with a knife.
After exiting at the next stop, Klaiber chased the victim and two of her friends through the station, at which point he was apprehended by a group of four police officers.
According to local news outlet WRC-TV, police plan to charge Klaiber with assault with a deadly weapon. Additionally, if found guilty, Klaiber will face an enhanced penalty, as police are treating the assault as a hate crime.
Washington, D.C., has a tragic history of violence against transgender women.
In 2012, 23-year-old Deoni Jones died of a stab wound while waiting at a bus stop. The year before, 23-year-old Lashai Mclean was shot just blocks away. In 2011, Darryl Willard shot a trans woman in the neck after unsuccessfully soliciting her for sex. Earlier that year, an intoxicated, off-duty District police officer chased a group of trans women through the streets, jumped on the hood of their car, and fired five shots through the car's windshield, injuring two unidentified trans women. For that crime, the officer received three years probation, 100 hours of community service, and $150 fine.
This year, nearby Baltimore, Md., appears to be the latest hub of antitrans violence, as two trans women of color were murdered in June, marking the third trans person murdered in the city since April 2013.
Sadly, these are only a sampling of the violence, assault, and murder that transgender women are subjected to on a daily basis around the country. A 2012 report from the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs found that a staggering 53.8 percent of anti-LGBT homicide victims were transgender women, and that trans women were almost twice as likely to experience threats and intimidation as gay, lesbian, bisexual, or queer individuals.