Man sentenced for stabbing motivated by ‘transphobic animus’

The incident was prosecuted as a hate crime.

A man was sentenced to five to seven years in state prison after admitting to stabbing a disabled woman multiple times in Egleston Square in 2017, an attack motivated by “transphobic animus,” Suffolk County District Attorney Rachael Rollins said in a news release.

David Delacruz, 31, nicknamed “Dangerous,” pleaded guilty to assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, assault and battery on a disabled person, assault and battery for the purposes of intimidation, and violation of the victim’s civil rights. The case was prosecuted as a hate crime. Following his prison time, Delacruz must complete two years of probation, according to the release.

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Back on June 13, 2017, Delacruz and the victim were in a group that was outside a pizza shop on Washington Street when he used a “homophobic slur” toward the victim, authorities said. An argument began, which led to Delacruz charging at the victim and knocking her out of her wheelchair. He then stabbed her in the abdomen and arms multiple times before someone pulled them apart, according to the release. The incident was caught on a nearby surveillance camera.

The victim was taken to Boston Medical Center where she received three blood transfusions; she had to stay there for a week. The woman was able to identify Delacruz by name and by his nickname; she also picked him out from a photo lineup, authorities said.

“The lengthy prison term imposed in this case reflects the seriousness of the attack, which left the victim fighting for her life,” Rollins said in the release. “This outcome sends a clear message that there’s no place in our society for hate or the violence it fuels. Regardless of who you are, where you’re from, or how you identify yourself, we will fight for your right to be safe and secure in Suffolk County.”