A 15-year-old transgender girl was stabbed on a southbound Metro Green Line train in Washington, D.C., Wednesday afternoon, according to Metro Transit Police.
Authorities told BuzzFeed they believe a 24-year-old man assaulted the transgender teenager around 4:30 p.m., stabbing her in the back with a 3.5-inch folding knife. The victim was transported to a hospital for what police described as a “non life-threatening puncture wound” to her upper left back.
Metro Transit Police intercepted the train at the Fort Totten station, where they arrested the suspect as he attempted to exit the station. Detectives are in the process of interviewing the suspect, whom they did not immediately identify. They are also talking to several witnesses and the victim, according to a Metro Transit Police spokesman.
NBC Washington News4’s Kristin Wright reports that one of the teenager’s friends who witnessed the incident said the suspect approached the group on the train and asked why the victim was wearing a wig and made insulting remarks about her appearance.
No formal charges have been made against the suspect, and nobody else was injured during the incident, police said.
Additionally, detectives are working to determine if the attack had a hate or bias motivation, as the victim is transgender.
Metro Transit Police announced late Wednesday that they have charged Reginald Anthony Klaiber, 24, in connection with the assault.
Klaiber, of Greenbelt, Md., has been charged with assault with a deadly weapon — and those charges include the possibility of enhanced penalties for hate or bias motivation, according to the release.
“If convicted, the suspect faces a maximum penalty on the assault with a deadly weapon charge subject to a 1½ times enhancement under District of Columbia law,” police said.