Arrest Made In Murder Of Transgender Man Beaten With Pipe

Kenneth Bostick, 59, is the tenth trans person murdered this year in the U.S.

UPDATE: Initial reports incorrectly identified Kenneth Bostick as a transgender woman. We have updated this story to indicate he was a trans man.

New York City police officers arrested a suspect in conjunction with the murder of a transgender man of color who died after being beaten over the head with a pipe.

Police discovered the unconscious body of Kenneth Bostick on April 25, just blocks from the homeless shelter he’d been staying since March. Bostwick was rushed to a local hospital, but did not survive.

NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 14: Police officers keep watch in Times Square following a series of terrorist attacks in Paris on November 14, 2015 in New York City. Security in New York City has increased following the coordinated assault on Paris which ISIS claimed responsibility for. At least 120 people have been killed and over 200 injured, 80 of which seriously.  (Photo by Andrew Renneisen/Getty Images)
Andrew Renneisen/Getty Images

Medics didn’t initially suspect foul play, but police soon began investigating the incident as a homicide and believe he was bashed in the head with a lead pipe. Surveillance from a Five Guys near the attack showed a man standing over Bostick’s body.

Police have identifed the suspect as 26-year-old Joseph Griffin, who stayed in the same homeless shelter as Bostick in 2015.

Following the attack, Griffin reportedly rushed into oncoming traffic, climbing on a taxi and smashing its windshield. Police arrested Griffin in a subway station a half-block away the next day. His record includes 28 previous arrests.

“Other circumstantial evidence ties the defendant to the assault,” said Assistant District Attorney Sarah Marquez. “And [we] expect the defendant to be charged with that crime as soon as an eyewitness to the crime returns from a trip out of the country.”

Griffin remains held on $25,000 bail.

NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 23:  Hundreds protest a Trump administration announcement this week that rescinds an Obama-era order allowing transgender students to use school bathrooms matching their gender identities, at the Stonewall Inn on February 23, 2017 in New York City. Activists and members of the transgender community gathered outside the historic LGTB bar to denounce the new policy.  (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Bostick is the tenth transgender person murdered so far this year.

“We are facing a crisis of violence,” said Beverly Tillery of the New York City Anti-Violence Project. “Ten transgender [people] have already been killed so far in 2017 and this must stop. As a society we can stop this epidemic by hiring trans women of color, making sure they have safe places to live and standing up when we see or hear them being demeaned and attacked and simply by valuing their lives. The moment to act is now.”

Texas native with a penchant for strong margaritas, early Babs and tastefully executed side-eye.