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Cops: Transgender Woman Brutally Attacked In Queens

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- Police are looking for a man who nearly killed a transgender woman in a beating in Queens.

Around 4 a.m. Sunday, the attacker followed the 35-year-old victim -- whose given name was Ricardo Sal but goes by the name Kathy -- to the front of Sal's apartment on 93rd Street in Jackson Heights, police said.

As CBS2's Lou Young reported, in street lingo the attack was a "curb stomp" – a vicious assault with the victim already down where street and sidewalk meet.

Sal was familiar to neighbors.

"I just know that it's one of the guys that live around here," said neighbor Jacqueline Martinez.

CBS2's Young reported neighbors said some of the transgender or cross-dressing renters in the neighborhood congregate late at night under the elevated No. 7 train tracks.

"Sometimes you know, in the nights like I see – sometimes like 1 o'clock or 2 o'clock," said neighbor Marco Solonzano.

Most people did not want to talk about the issue on camera.

"They're in the Roosevelt Avenue, you know?" a neighbor said. "Then they like to get some drunk guys, you know what I'm saying?"

The assailant followed his victim home to a gate on 93rd Street, which leads to a small basement apartment. The attack was quick as it was violent.

"Everyone's different, you know? There are feelings against certain type of people, I guess," said Joselyne Aucapina, who said she was worried the attack was a hate crime.

Sal was reported in critical condition late Monday, according to police.

Police late Tuesday did not know the motive and were still looking for a suspect.

Neighbors said the attack was only the most recent and violent in a series of incidents linked to the overnight street activities along the Roosevelt Avenue strip.

"I'm not surprised, it's always happening," one local business owner told 1010 WINS' Al Jones. "At night's really dangerous over here."

Police described the suspect as a male in his 30s.

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