A Maryland man who has been in custody since July 30, when he was arrested in connection with the stabbing of a 15-year-old transgender girl on a Metro train in Washington, D.C., pleaded guilty this week to assault.
The suspected attacker, 24-year-old Reginald Anthony Klaiber, pleaded guilty to assault with a dangerous weapon with a hate crime enhancement, reports local news station WNBC.
The July altercation began after Klaiber verbally harassed the victim, calling her, as one friend who witnessed the attack told a U.S. attorney, "a man" and demanded to know "Are you a boy? Are you a boy? … Why you be looking like a girl?" Court documents indicate Klaiber also insulted the teenager's appearance and asked why she was wearing a wig.
When the girl asked Klaiber to leave her alone and moved closer to the train's door, Klaiber followed, put his arms around her, and stabbed her in the back with a knife. Klaiber halted his attack when one of the victim's two friends sprayed him with pepper spray, and the group was able to flee and alert Metro Transit Police. Klaiber chased them while reportedly shouting "I'm going to [stab you] again!" The suspect was ultimately apprehended outside the Fort Totten station, according to WNBC.
Having now pled guilty to assault with a dangerous weapon, Klaiber would face up to 10 years in prison — but with the added hate crime enhancement, Klaiber could spend as long as 15 years in prison.