7 People Sprayed with Chemical in Possible Hate Crime


Surveillance image of the alleged assailant.

A woman sprayed seven people with an unknown chemical substance on Friday night in what police are investigating as a possible hate crime. The incident is being investigated as a possible hate crime because victims were white and the assailant was black, police told us.

The woman had not been located as of Saturday morning.

[Update on Sunday: Police arrested a transgender woman for a similar attack in the Bronx and believe she may be connected to the Manhattan attacks too, CBS reported. The person arrested was “37-year-old Thomas Herd, who was taken to St. Barnabas Hospital, where she is set to undergo a mental evaluation before facing charges.”]

She is described as black, 30-years-old, approximately 5’6″ tall, weighing 200 lbs., with a dark complexion. She was last seen wearing a light blue hooded winter jacket, grey pants, black leggings and white sneakers, police said.

The incidents reportedly occurred between 11:50 a.m. and 1 p.m. Six of the people were sprayed on 125th Street, either at the subway station at 125th and Lenox or on the street outside.

“She just walked up to me, literally walked up, maced me and kept walking,” victim Joshua Smith told News 4 New York. Victims told NBC they thought it was pepper spray.

The seventh person was sprayed on the platform at the 96th Street and Broadway station.

“At approximately 1258 hours, the individual sprayed a seventh victim, a 30-year-old female, in the face as she was waiting on the southbound ‘1’ train platform inside the 96 Street and Broadway subway station,” police said. The woman was taken by ambulance to Saint Luke’s Hospital for minor injuries, where she was treated and released.

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). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the CrimeStoppers website at WWW.NYPDCRIMESTOPPERS.COM, on Twitter @NYPDTips or by texting their tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then enter TIP577.

All calls are strictly confidential.

NEWS | 22 comments | permalink
    1. UWSHebrew says:

      This could be the sickest crime I’ve seen reported in this area, aside from murder or rape. Needs to be locked up ASAP before she blinds someone.

    2. ST says:

      NYPD: No cops or cars on the streets. Nothing prophylactic. It’s all only about catching criminals after the crime via cameras. We are all bring sacrificed to accepting that criminal acts will be perpetrated against us.

      • Glittet says:

        Prophylactic means to prevent disease or rather referring to a condom. Not sure how this relates to your comment

    3. kim says:

      There is no journalistic reason to identify this woman as transgender — that fact is unrelated, insofar as you know, to her alleged crime. (You wouldn’t write, say, ‘arrested a cisgender woman’.) Errors like this contribute to and allow hate to thrive.

      • moose says:

        The truth is an error?

      • Jose Habib says:

        Totally agree. Mr. Herd should have been identified as a man. Please fix the error. Thanks.

        • bob says:

          It’s not an error, Einstein. Go back to Ohio. Just bc you aren’t trans doesn’t mean your lack of understanding of the issue enables you to define trans people.

      • Glitter says:

        Actually there’s a very good reason to say this person is transgendered. The public is being asked to identify this person. A man transitioning or transgendered probably has unique identifiable characteristics. Don’t get all weird and defensive. No one was making any negative LGBTQ comments.

      • Kim is great says:

        Well said, Kim! All that’s accomplished by mentioning that the perpetrator is trans is a further demonizing of transpeople. This one person’s violent act should not color the public’s perception of a whole demographic.

      • Rob G. says:

        This is what you’re concerned about? Some priorities never cease to amaze me.

        The “hate” here thrives within the perpetrator. Describing this creep as a transgender (if that’s what he or she is) would be important information for help in identifying them, especially for someone that knows them.

    4. Yael says:

      So, let’s be perfectly clear: This crime was committed by a man. A woman DID NOT ‘spray seven people with an unknown chemical substance’. A man did. Just because he dresses in women’s clothing does not change the statistics on MALE VIOLENCE.

      • Please educate says:

        Yael, I know you’re trying to be feminist in bringing (much-needed) attention to male violence, but in referring to a transwoman as a male in women’s clothing, you are being anti-trans. The narrative you’re perpetuating is decidedly not feminist. I resent this woman’s crime as much as we all do, but your inaccurate views of transpeople do nothing to combat crime.

        • Yael says:

          “Please educate” a.k.a. Thought Police, not everyone that discusses transgender issues (which does not agree with your trans agenda) is “anti-trans”. Just last week a TRANS person was brought to court in the UK, for a daring to tweet their opinion on a trans issue. Of course the absurd charge of “hate crime” was immediately dismissed. Such harassment needs to stop. Having an opinion or not seeing things your way is NOT a hate crime.

      • Sarah says:

        TERF, go home! Trans women are women. Even when they’re committing crimes.

        • Yael says:

          Sarah, I am home. Thanks for demonstrating how the Trans Agenda is hate-based. For other readers… Sarah’s knee-jerk reaction was to express hatred and label me a “terf” (“trans exclusionary radical feminist”) because I dare to think for myself and to comment. Sarah, you will never force me to say or believe that a man who thinks he is a woman is actually a woman. Personally, I couldn’t care less what other people wear or how they live… but a person born a male can never, scientifically speaking, be female. The violence this individual committed is male violence, as he was born a man, with male chromosomes and testosterone and all. This was my point.

          • Again... says:

            Yael, you don’t know that. This person might’ve completed a medical transition–hormones and all. Best to steer clear of issues with which you are not personally connected. Your comments are only causing hurt.

          • Sarah says:

            You’re correct; I can’t force you to be a decent human being. I can only watch as your antiquated hateful “feminism” is left behind by those of us interested in true solidarity with all other women.

          • Mark says:

            I’d rather get pepper sprayed than interact with a TERF, transphobia is violence.

      • SC says:

        THANK YOU!!!!

    5. Ms Grandoni says:

      Anything that would help identify the person is useful. The goal is the catch the person, not be politically correct.

    6. paulcons says:

      A LOT of insurance plans do NOT cover ambulance rides. They can be up to 2 grand, no matter what.

      BTW, they are a scam. Last time I had to be in one (while back, maybe 10 years ago), it was a FDNY vehicle, obviously purchased with my tax dollars. The 2 paramedics were FDNY employees, again paid for by my taxes. I was having similar symptoms to when I had a MI… so they gave me some nitro and simply transported me 10 blocks north. YET I got a bill for over a grand, AND it came from some private business, not the city, not the FDNY, not the hospital. I looked into it… turns out the city contracts with private businesses to keep oil and gas in the truck. THAT IS IT.