NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Straphangers were taking extra caution on the subway Wednesday night, after a transgender woman was pushed onto the tracks at the Bleecker Street subway station in NoHo in what may be a hate crime.
Police are hoping surveillance video leads them to the suspect who pushed the woman onto the tracks.READ MORE: 'Moulin Rouge! The Musical' Wins Big As Broadway Celebrates The 74th Annual Tony Awards
As CBS2’s Tony Aiello reported, video shows a strange-acting man in a light blue shirt and khakis reach into a trash drum and pull out a plastic bottle. This happened after he said, “What are you looking at?” to the woman, police said.
After throwing the bottle, the suspect pushed the victim from the platform onto the tracks, police said.
Good Samaritans pulled her to safety before a train reached the station.
The suspect then ran off toward the stairs near the D Train as a group of good Samaritans helped pull the victim from the tracks and back onto the platform, CBS2’s Janelle Burrell reported.
“When I hear about something like that, it just really, really disappoints me that anybody would think to behave that way,” said straphanger Mark Kaplan.
The victim suffered cuts, bruises and broken teeth, and was rushed to Bellevue Hospital Center, where she was treated and released, police said.
If the No. 6 train had been arriving at the time, the incident could have ended tragically, Burrell reported.
Police are treating the incident as a possible bias attack because the victim is transgender.
She lives uptown with her grandmother, but they would not answer the door when CBS2 buzzed the intercom.
Meanwhile, police have made an all-out press to catch the suspect, who may be carrying a distinctive red bag, CBS2’s Dave Carlin reported.
A Level One Mobilization was called earlier Wednesday at Waverly Place and Sixth Avenue in Greenwich Village, near the West 4th Street subway station.
A tipster reported seeing the suspect and a man was detained, but police quickly determined he was not the perpetrator.READ MORE: Police Seize 7 Vans Allegedly Used As Airbnb Rentals In Manhattan
Straphangers said they are relieved the woman was saved and are now being extra cautious.