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State police join NYC cops in investigating Harlem transphobic attack

Two suspects wanted in connection to an anti-transgender attack. (NYPD)

Two law enforcement teams are now searching for the pair of hate-filled suspects who assaulted a transgender woman on the platform of the 155th Street station in Harlem Friday night.

Governor Andrew Cuomo announced Sunday that he directed the New York State Police’s Hate Crimes Task Force to assist the NYPD in finding the duo responsible for the incident.

Police said the female victim, identified by Cuomo as Serena Daniari, was approached by a male perp at about 8 p.m. on Jan. 24, who asked her a question she could not “decipher” before making the remark “Oh, are you a guy?”

That led to a verbal dispute, during which Daniari was hit in the face. The victim took cellphone pictures of the two individuals involved, a man and a woman.

Cops said the suspect then struck the victim again in the face with an open hand and the second perpetrator slapped the phone out of her hand.

“I’m sickened by the incident Friday in which a transgender woman in Harlem was assaulted by two individuals who struck her while hurling trans-phobic slurs,” Cuomo said. “No one should ever have to live in fear simply for being who they are. New Yorkers embrace diversity and our differences because that’s what makes us unique and that’s what makes us great.”

Cuomo said he is directing the state Police’s hate Crimes Task Force to investigate the incident and that the attackers would be brought to justice.

Police described both perpetrators as Hispanic, with the male last seen wearing a yellow jacket and a black skull cap and the woman last seen wearing a black jacket and eye glasses.

Anyone with information in regard to this incident is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477) or for Spanish, 1-888-57-PISTA (74782). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers website at WWW.NYPDCRIMESTOPPERS.COM, or on Twitter @NYPDTips.

Mark Hallum