Man charged for pepper spray attack on NYC trans woman


Man charged for pepper spray attack on NYC trans woman

David Gonzalez | Photo: NYPD

New York police arrested and charged a man with a hate crime after he attacked a transgender woman with pepper spray.

Authorities charged David Gonzalez, 34, with multiple felony counts related to a hate crime on Tuesday (23 July). They charged him with assault as a hate crime and aggravated harassment as a hate crime for the alleged attack in June.

According to the New York Post, Gonzalez, who’s from Queens, turned himself in.

Police also charged another person with a hate crime felony for attacking a different trans woman the same day. Police say the two attacks are connected.

Attacked ‘for being trans’

Police say that on Saturday 29 June, Gonzalez approached a 29-year-old trans woman. He made transphobic comments to her before allegedly attacking her with pepper spray.

This incident reportedly happened in the Jackson Heights area of Roosevelt Avenue and 82nd Street around 4:15 am EST.

Earlier, a 43-year-old trans woman was allegedly attacked by a woman in the same area and in a similar fashion. NYPD charged Paola Custodio, 24, with assault and harassment as hate crimes.

Who are the transgender women?

Bianey Garcia and Norma Ureiro, two trans activists, were filming a documentary in Jackson Heights on transphobic harassment when the hate crimes took place.

Custodio’s reported confrontation took place around 2:30 am EST. Gonzalez approached later and allegedly assumed the two activists were sex workers and threatened to ‘make [them] pay’ should they return.

After Gonzalez allegedly pepper sprayed Garcia, doctors treated her at a hospital.

Garcia and Ureiro both said police officers ‘ignored’ them and only took action against Custodio when she became ‘aggressive’ with them.

This incident comes amidst continually increasing violence against transgender women of color in the US.

See also

Denali Berries Stuckey is the 12th trans person killed in the US in 2019

Trans people win partial victory in North Carolina bathroom bill settlement

‘Trans people are sacred’ billboard erected in Detroit


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