Crime watch

NYPD seeks help in apprehending men who abducted transgender woman

Surveillance footage of the attackers

New York City police have appealed to the public for help in searching for a pair of men who kidnapped a transgender woman and held her at gunpoint.

GayCityNews reports that the attack occurred on November 19. The 30-year-old victim–who remains unnamed to protect her identity–makes a living as a sex worker. She approached an SUV parked in the Bronx where a man offered her work if she would meet a man at a nearby hotel. As the woman entered the vehicle, however, she was confronted by a man she knew, who held her at gunpoint.

Related: Did ICE destroy evidence of wrongdoing in the death of a transgender woman?

The two men interrogated the woman, accusing her of sending text messages to the armed man’s wife. The two attackers bound her with zip ties and stole her phone, attempting to review her text message log. Thus began a terrifying ride to Yonkers, as the two men sought out a cellular store that would override the woman’s cellphone security lock.

Lucky for her, she managed to escape and call for help. The two men fled the scene. Police have released photographs of the two assailants, though their identities remain unclear. The NYPD has also asked that anyone who recognizes either of the men or has any information about the crime to please contact the NYPD Crime Stoppers.

Attacks on transgender women–particularly transgender women of color–have skyrocketed in the past few years. CNN reported that at least 22 transgender American women had been killed by November 2019. That number is likely higher, as many attacks go unreported, and police often misclassify the attacks as violence against men.