Trans model Tia Latham, best known for appearing on ITV2 reality show Survival of the Fittest, was allegedly subjected to a transphobic slur by a group of men, who chased after her before vandalising her car.
Latham, 29, had returned from a petrol station with her friend Charley Grabczak, where they had bought a bottle of wine and some snacks for a film night at Grabczak’s flat in High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, on the night of January 17.
CCTV footage sent to PinkNews shows Latham getting out of her BMW with her friend and walking towards Grabczak’s apartment building, when two men run towards them.
Men allegedly shout “tranny” and “gay boy” at Tia Latham and friend in suspected hate crime
Both Latham and Grabczak, 20, managed to get into the block of flats before the men caught up with them.
However, the two men then started to smash Latham’s car, with one of them using a metal pole that he had been carrying and the other kicking the left wing mirror until it partially broke off.
Grabczak, who is gay, told PinkNews that he heard the men shouting “tranny, gay boy and batty man” at him and Latham as they went inside the building.
A Thames Valley Police spokesperson told PinkNews that the incident is being investigated as a hate crime.
“As we walked inside the building, my friend ushered me inside,” Latham told PinkNews.
“I heard someone shout something, but I still didn’t know what was going on until we got upstairs.
“If we hadn’t got inside when we did we would have got hit by that metal pole.”
“This is 2019, this doesn’t make sense whatsoever. It’s disgusting.”
Latham said that she believes a third man was also involved in the incident.
The social media influencer was heavily shaken by the incident and is seeing a counsellor to help with her recovery.
“This is 2019, this doesn’t make sense whatsoever,” she told PinkNews.
Tia Latham is left “traumatised” after incident
She added: “I want to bring awareness to [incidents] like this. This is going on all around the world. We shouldn’t have to put up with this.
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“I’m quite traumatised. It’s scary.”
Speaking to PinkNews, Grabczak, a club promoter, said he believed that the men involved in the incident were part of a group that have been harassing him because of his sexuality since August last year.
“If we hadn’t been quick enough it would have been a different story,” he said.
Grabczak added: “It’s not just one incident, it’s just that this one involved Tia.”
He said that cars had previously driven past his flat, beeping their horns as men shouted anti-gay slurs at him.
“It’s really bad,” he added. “The police aren’t really doing anything.”
A Thames Valley Police spokesperson told PinkNews: “Thames Valley Police were called at around 10.20pm on Thursday (17/1) to reports of criminal damage in, Beechlands, Hazlemere near High Wycombe.
“A vehicle was damaged by up to three men, they were seen with a baseball bat.
“This criminal damage is also being investigated as a hate crime.”