NYPD

Suspect Arrested in Attack of Trans Journalist in New York City

“They spit on me and hit me and called me transphobic slurs.”

A man accused of assaulting a 26-year-old transgender journalist in New York City while yelling anti-trans slurs has been arrested.

On January 24, Serena Daniari, a prominent transgender reporter, says she was attacked by a couple on the C at the 155th street station in Harlem just after 8:00 pm.

Daniari tells NewNowNext that she was listening to music on her headphones when a man asked her a question.

Daniari said her attackers identified her as trans by the sound of her voice.

“She kept on saying, ’Oh, she definitely has a dick,” Daniari” tells NewNowNext. “At some point the man charged toward me. Also, the man kept telling me that the woman was armed, and that she had a gun and a knife.”

The man spit in her face, she says. Daniari recounted the incident moments later on her Twitter account.

“I swear I just wish people would leave me alone,” she said through tears in a video recorded shortly after the attack. “I didn’t do anything. I just want to be left alone.”

She says she rode the train one stop, called police and, then called her brother for help.

According to a statement from the New York City Police Department, Daniari was attacked by a man and a woman.

“The male made anti-sexual orientation statements, spit on, and slapped the victim in the face,” NYPD reported in a statement “The unidentified female slapped the victim’s phone out of her hand. The unidentified male and female exited the station and fled in an unknown direction.”

Chief of Detectives Rodney Harrison announced the arrest of the man on Twitter.

An NYPD public information officer declined to identify the suspect, but NBC News reported that Pablo Valle had been apprehended in New Jersey after police used facial recognition technology.

According to the New York Post, Valle has prior arrests for assault, grand larceny, robbery, and drug charges.

NYPD says charges have not yet been announced in Daniari’s attack.

This article has been updated with comments from Daniari.

Kate Sosin is an award-winning, trans-identified news and investigative reporter.
@shoeleatherkate