The brutal attack of a transgender person by a group of youths at a bus stop near Franklin High School on Saturday was clearly motivated by hate, Seattle police say.
The brutal attack of a transgender woman by a group of youths at a bus stop near Franklin High School on Saturday was clearly motivated by hate, Seattle police say.
A 13-year-old boy arrested shortly after the assault in South Seattle faces felony malicious harassment and attempted-robbery charges, according to police.
Several other youths who allegedly joined the boy in the attack remain at large, police say.
The suspect “was uncooperative in providing information regarding the identities of the other suspects involved,” Officer Wayne Johnson wrote in his report.
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The attack occurred at 4:42 p.m. at a Metro bus stop near Rainier Avenue South and South Mount Baker Boulevard. The 36-year-old victim told police that she is in the process of changing her “name and appearance from a man to a woman,”according to Johnson’s report.
The victim, who told police that she sometimes wears a skirt, said the attack was a result of that, the report stated.
During the confrontation, several of the victim’s assailants uttered a slur for a gay man as they struck and kicked the victim, then knocked her to the ground, the report says. The attacking youths also tried to pull off her backpack. The group then fled.
At least one boy among the attackers tried to flee by getting onto a nearby Metro bus. When officers responded, several witnesses directed them to the bus, which came to a stop at Rainier Avenue South and South Andover. The teen got off and tried running away, but police caught and arrested him.
The boy later told investigators that his “homies” started “messing with the victim” because they thought the victim was gay, according to the police report. The boy claimed he didn’t bother the victim until she tried soliciting him for sex. He denied that he tried robbing the victim of the backpack, the report says.
Police later booked the boy into the King County Youth Services Center for investigation of attempted robbery and felony malicious harassment. Police continue to look for the other attackers.
Dan Donohoe, spokesman for King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg, said that the case might be handled under a new section of the state’s malicious harassment, or hate-crime, law.
The law, adopted earlier this year, makes it a felony to threaten, damage the property of, or physically injure someone because of ethnicity, nationality, religion, gender, disability or sexual orientation. Until this year, the hate-crime law protected the rights of gay, straight or bisexual people, but not the rights of transgender individuals.
Lewis Kamb: 206-464-2341 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Seattle Times staff reporter Jennifer Sullivan contributed
to this report.