Cops are searching for a pair of men who allegedly abducted a transgender woman in the Bronx, tied her up, threatened her with a gun, and took her cell phone — all over some text messages.
Cops say the 30-year-old victim, whom police sources described as a sex worker, entered an SUV at the corner of Unionport Road and Metropolitan Oval in the Westchester Square section of the Bronx around 4:30 p.m. on November 19 with the understanding that she would, according to the New York Post, meet a man and head to a hotel. But the scene took a dark turn as soon as she entered the vehicle and encountered two men, one of whom she already knew, holding a gun.
That man accused her of texting his wife, the Post reported, so the attackers stole her phone, tied her hands and feet with zip ties, and drove her to a Boost Mobile store in Yonkers in an unsuccessful effort to unlock her phone and access those messages.
Cops told Gay City News she was able to escape from the scene and call for help, prompting the attackers to flee. The woman suffered lacerations to her knee and hands, but did not require medical attention, according to police.
The attackers remain on the loose, but police are continuing to investigate the case and have released photos of the men. Their identities are not clear.
The initial NYPD press alert regarding the crime described the victim incorrectly as a man.
Anyone with information about the case is encouraged to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS. The hotline is also available in Spanish at 1-888-57-PISTA. Tips can be submitted to Crime Stoppers’ website at NYPDcrimestoppers.com or via Twitter @NYPDTips.
Attacks targeting transgender women have become frequent across the US — or at least are more often reported and correctly identified as such — and 26 transgender or gender non-conforming people have suffered violent deaths this year alone.
Among other cases of transphobic violence locally this year, trans women Bianey Garcia and Norma Ureiro were victims of a verbal and physical anti-LGBTQ attack on June 29 in Queens, the day before the main WorldPride/ Stonewall 50 celebration in New York. Garcia was hit with pepper spray and required medical treatment at Elmhurst Hospital.
The attackers in that case were subsequently arrested.