The incident was reported Friday night on a southbound C train platform at West 155th Street.
Police say the man asked if the 26-year-old victim was a man and then slapped her in the face and spit on her. The woman then allegedly slapped the victim's phone out of her hand.
The victim was not seriously hurt, but immediately took to Twitter after the incident.
"I just wish people would leave me alone, I didn't do anything, I just want to be left alone," she said in a video posted to social media after the attack.
Mayor Bill de Blasio responded to the tweet from the victim, apologizing to her on behalf of the city, and adding that transgender and non-binary New Yorkers deserve to travel in their city without fear.
.@NYPDHateCrimes is investigating this loathsome, transphobic attack. If you have ANY information please contact them IMMEDIATELY.— Mayor Bill de Blasio (@NYCMayor) January 26, 2020
Serena, on behalf of your city I’m so sorry this happened. Transgender and non-binary New Yorkers deserve to travel in their city without fear. https://t.co/mLM46e6a7u
Gov. Andrew Cuomo directed the New York State Police Hate Crimes Task Force to assist the NYPD with its investigation.
"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. "On behalf of the New York family, my message to Serena Daniari is simple: We have zero tolerance for what happened to you. We are sorry for what happened to you. We stand with you in love and respect, and we will catch your attackers and bring them to justice."
Congressman Adriano Espaillat has called for the MTA to conduct a full investigation.
"It's 2020 and this shouldn't be happening and especially not in a city as diverse as ours," Espaillat said.
The victim released a statement later Sunday thanking everyone for their support, but asking to respect her privacy as she moves forward.
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).
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