Blind trans woman brutally beaten by a gang of teenagers as she got off a bus
Police are investigating a suspected hate crime after a blind trans woman was brutally assaulted by a gang of four teenagers as she got off a bus.
The incident occurred in Tukwila, a suburb of Seattle in Washington on Tuesday, December 10. The victim told detectives she had an altercation with the teens at the bus station before they all got on the bus.
The teens boarded the bus before the woman, who sat at the front near the driver. Throughout the journey the teens taunted her with “threatening and derogatory” comments from the back of the bus.
As she left the bus at around 10.20pm she pepper sprayed the youths. They followed her off the vehicle and knocked her to the ground, punching and kicking her using transgender slurs.
“They were using some slurs towards that victim which would point this more towards a hate crime. They were talking about the victim’s sexuality,” sheriff’s office spokesman sergeant Ryan Abbott told Komo News.
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One of the teens had a realistic-looking BB gun and another had a hatchet, but fortunately neither were used in the attack.
The woman was admitted to a hospital with non-life-threatening injuries and interviewed by a detective. Since she is legally blind it was hard for her to describe the suspects, but police were able to identify them.
The alleged attackers fled when police arrived but all four were caught and taken to the King County youth detention centre. CCTV footage from the bus is being used as part of the investigation.
Pepper spray is legal for self-defence purposes in the state of Washington, but the woman’s initial use of it was not justified, suggested Abbot.
He told Seattle News that although using it solely for offensive comments is illegal, the teens’ escalation to an assault that left the woman unconscious means she is unlikely to face any charges.
Had the teens simply stayed on the bus and reported that they were pepper-spray victims, the blind trans woman would likely be the one facing charges.