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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Columbia

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, January 9, 2015

Maryland Man Pleads Guilty To Assaulting Transgender Girl In July 2014 Attack On Metrorail TrainDefendant Threatened, Harassed And Stabbed 15-Year-Old Victim

     WASHINGTON – Reginald Klaiber, 25, of Greenbelt, Md., pled guilty today to a charge of assault with a dangerous weapon, with a hate crime enhancement, for stabbing a transgender girl while she was on board a Metrorail train, U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen Jr. announced.

     Klaiber, also known as Reginald Kaliber, pled guilty to the charge in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia. The Honorable Juliet McKenna scheduled sentencing for March 11, 2015. Because the offense was a hate crime, the charge includes a bias enhancement. Assault with a dangerous weapon is punishable by up to 10 years in prison. However, with the bias enhancement, it is punishable by up to 15 years of incarceration.

     According to the government’s evidence, Klaiber confronted the 15-year-old victim on July 30, 2014, at about 4:30 p.m., while both were on a Green Line train approaching the Fort Totten Metro station in Northeast Washington. The victim, who was dressed in women’s clothing, was with two of her friends on the train. Klaiber attempted to engage her in conversation and she asked him to leave her alone. Klaiber began harassing her, saying, among other things, “Are you a boy, you are a boy, right?” and “Why you be looking like a woman?”

     The victim again asked Klaiber to leave her alone and to get away. As the train pulled into the Fort Totten station, she stood up. Klaiber stood up as well, pulled out a knife, grabbed the victim in a bear hug and stabbed her in the back. One of the victim’s friends sprayed Klaiber in the face with Mace or pepper spray. Klaiber released the victim, and she and her friends fled through interior train doors into a different Metro car. Klaiber continued to follow them until the exterior doors opened. The victim and her friends then ran into the Metro station, with Klaiber making threatening and harassing statements as he kept following them.

     One of the friends pointed out the defendant to Metro Transit Police officers, who apprehended him just outside the station. Police recovered a black folding knife with a three-inch, partially serrated blade in a search of the defendant.

     The victim, who later identified Klaiber as her assailant, required medical treatment for her injuries.

     Klaiber has been in custody since his arrest.

     In announcing the plea, U.S. Attorney Machen commended the work of the Metro Transit Police. He also acknowledged the efforts of those who worked on the case from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, including Supervisory Victim/Witness Advocate Jennifer Clark and Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher Bruckmann, who is prosecuting the case.

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Updated February 19, 2015