Police Seek Suspect Who Pushed Transgender Woman Onto Subway Tracks In New York

NEW YORK, June 3 (Reuters) - A New York City police hate-crime task force is hunting for a man suspected of pushing a transgender woman onto subway tracks in the city's Greenwich Village neighborhood, authorities said on Wednesday.

The 28-year-old victim was treated and released from a local hospital following the incident, which took place on Monday at about 9 a.m., according to the New York Police Department.

She had been approached by a man who was acting "erratically," police said.

The man said, "What are you looking at?" before throwing a empty plastic bottle at her and pushing her onto the tracks, police said.

A task force is investigating the attack, which occurred at a subway station at Bleecker and Lafayette Streets, because the victim is transgender, police said.

The attack comes a month after a New York City woman was jailed for 24 years for fatally pushing a man into the path of an oncoming subway train in 2012 in what officials called an attack motivated by religious hatred.

Prosecutors said Menendez was seen muttering to herself before the attack, and that she told investigators that she pushed the man because "I hate Hindus and Muslims."

In 2013, 315 hate crimes were reported in New York City, according to the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services.

Broken down by category, New York police said it received reports of 24 anti-sexual orientation complaints this year as of May 24, compared with 35 at the same time last year.

The New York City Anti-Violence Project (AVP), which advocates on behalf of transgender people and others, said it planned to hold a community outreach project on public safety on Friday.

The AVP gave support to 594 victims of hate violence in 2013, the latest year for which information is available, it said. Statistics on 2014 will be released next week, it said. (Reporting by Ellen Wulfhorst; Editing by Eric Walsh)