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Suspect in Fatal Beating of Transgender Woman Is in Custody, DA Says

By  Aidan Gardiner and Ben Fractenberg | May 9, 2017 10:11am 

 The woman was found outside 343 Seventh Ave. on April 25 and died on May 4, police said.
The woman was found outside 343 Seventh Ave. on April 25 and died on May 4, police said.
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DNAinfo/Trevor Kapp

MANHATTAN — A man in police custody is expected to be charged with fatally bludgeoning a transgender woman over the head on a Chelsea street, prosecutors said Tuesday.

Joseph Griffin, 26, hit Brenda Bostick, 59, with a blunt object and left her for dead outside 343 Seventh Ave. about 10:30 p.m. April 25, a spokesman for the Manhattan District Attorney's Office said.

Bostick, who lived on West 25th Street, was found unconscious and treated at Bellevue Hospital, where she died days later on May 4, police said.

Surveillance video with a blocked view that was taken from the Five Guys restaurant near where Bostick collapsed shows her stumbling and then falling to the ground while a person stands over her. The person then stands over her for about five minutes while numerous pedestrians appear to walk by, according to the video obtained by DNAinfo.

The person then appears to pick up a bag and walk off before an ambulance finally arrives. 

It was not immediately clear who the person was who stood over her or police have spoken with that individual. 

Griffin was taken into custody on May 5 for an unrelated incident nearby in which he strode into traffic, jumped onto the hood of a passing taxi and shattered its windshield a day after attacking Bostick, prosecutors said.

He was charged with criminal mischief and held on $25,000 bail at the Manhattan Detention Complex for that incident, records show. He's due back in court on May 11.

He had not been charged with the homicide as of Tuesday morning, but prosecutors anticipated he would be.

Griffin has been arrested 21 times since 2009 when he was picked up in The Bronx for trespassing and criminal possession of marijuana, an NYPD spokesman said.

Apart from the cab attack, he was most recently arrested for petit larceny in Midtown on Nov. 19, police said.

Griffin's attorney didn't immediately return a request for comment.