Man indicted for hate crime after allegedly attacking transgender woman on Bed-Stuy subway

bed-stuy subway train
A Brooklyn man is facing ten years in prison after he allegedly attacked a transgender woman on a Bed-Stuy subway.
Photo courtesy of Mtattrain/Wikimedia Commons

A Brooklyn man has been arrested and charged with assault as a hate crime and other related charges for allegedly attacking a transgender woman on a subway without provocation in August.

The defendant, Ian Williams of Bedford-Stuyvesant, was arraigned on Wednesday in Brooklyn Supreme court on charges of third-degree assault as a hate crime, third-degree menacing as a hate crime, forcible touching and other counts. 

Williams is being held on a $10,000 cash bond or $50,000 bound and has been ordered to return to court on Nov. 1, 2023. If convicted, he will face a maximum of four years in prison.

“Every person in our city deserves to safely use the subway, no matter their gender identity or expression,” said Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez in a statement on Wednesday. “This defendant allegedly groped an innocent individual and then violently attacked her. We will continue to vigorously prosecute violent people and defend the rights of every member of Brooklyn’s LGBTQ community.”

According to the D.A.’s office, both the defendant and the victim were waiting for the J train at the Myrtle Avenue station at about 1 p.m. on Aug. 17. The defendant allegedly made a sexually suggestive gesture to the victim before grabbing her buttocks.

When the victim confronted the defendant, he allegedly called her a slur and threatened her.

suspect in hate crime on subway
Cops released photos of Williams after he allegedly harassed and assaulted the victim before fleeing to another car.Photo courtesy of NYPD/CrimeStoppers

Both the victim and the defendant then entered the Manhattan-bound J-train, where the victim asked the defendant why he groped her and called her a slur.

In response, the defendant then allegedly slapped the victim and punched her repeatedly and throwing her to the ground of the train car. Bystanders intervened, pulling the defendant off of the victim before he moved to another car.

The victim was treated for a broken nose at Lennox Hill Hospital. 

According to crime statistics, the 81st Precinct —where the crime occurred — has seen one hate crime so far this year, down from two last year. NYPD data also shows that so far this year there have been 235 reported hate crimes throughout New York City, resulting in 131 arrests. Of these hate crimes, 10 reported have targeted transgender people directly resulting in 5 arrests.

In July, 29-year-old O’Shea Sibley was stabbed to death in what is now being investigated as a hate crime — and earlier this year, a man was sentenced to ten years in prison after he hurled anti-gay slurs at two men in Bushwick before brutally attacking them.