NYC Trans Arrested for a Series of Hate Crimes
A Transgender man has been charged with multiple hate crime felonies and misdemeanors following a series of pepper spray attacks in New York City.
Thomas “Tasha” Heard, who was born a man but identifies as a woman, was arrested Saturday evening in connection with at least two separate attacks, though police were reportedly questioning her about several other similar incidents.
In one alleged incident, Heard, who is black is accused of approaching a white couple in their 50s on Friday afternoon while they shopped in the Bronx. She reportedly told the couple she hated white people before assaulting them, according to NBC.
“They were approached by the defendant who kicked both victims and sprayed a substance in their face,” an NYPD spokesperson stated in an email. “The victims suffered minor injuries.”
Fox News reported that Police say they believe that Heard’s actions were racially motivated because all of her victims were white. When police arrested her, they recovered pepper spray and a pair of scissors. She has reportedly been charged with assault as a hate crime, menacing as a hate crime, harassment as a hate crime and assault with criminal possession of a weapon.
Investigators are now looking into whether Herd is the same person wanted in a string of suspected hate crimes in Manhattan. Multiple people, all of whom are white, were sprayed with an unknown chemical substance near subway stations in Harlem and the Upper West Side around noon on Friday.
Police say the first incident happened on the downtown platform of the 2 and 3 trains at the 125th Street and Lenox Avenue station. The suspect allegedly sprayed five people while walking westbound on 125th Street towards St. Nicholas Avenue, according to police.
EXCLUSIVE: more possible victims of “pepper-spray” attack. This woman says suspect physically attacked her in Bronx before spraying boyfriend. Cops say she sprayed 7 victims in Harlem. Being investigated as hate crimes. NYPD determining if this is connected. At 6pm on @ABC7NY. pic.twitter.com/hE5oeM07HN
— CeFaan Kim (@CeFaanKim) March 9, 2019
Around an hour later, the same person allegedly sprayed a 30-year-old woman while waiting on the subway platform at the 96th Street and Broadway station
“It lights up your whole face on fire,” Joshua Smith, who was sprayed on his way home from a doctors appointment, said. “Your sinuses, your throat feels like it’s closing up. It’s rough.”
Police say the suspect eventually made her way to the Bronx, where she approached a husband and wife and sprayed them with the same unknown substance.
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