December 10, 2011 at 3:54 pm EDT | by Lou Chibbaro Jr.
Chrissy Polis arrested on disorderly conduct charge

A 23-year-old transgender woman who became the subject of international news in April when she was attacked and beaten in a hate crime at a McDonald’s restaurant outside Baltimore was arrested at her nearby apartment on Dec. 3 in an unrelated incident on a charge of disorderly conduct.

According to a report by the Baltimore Sun, police said Chrissy Lee Polis became disorderly and shouted obscenities at a police officer who arrived at her apartment after she called police to report she had been robbed of her cell phone, purse, and $800 in cash by an unidentified male suspect.

“She told police the man hit her in the head with an unknown object and stole her purse,” the Sun reported in a Dec. 7 story. “But the officer taking the report said Polis ‘gave several different variations’” of what happened and “’became very agitated.’”

Mark Scurti, an attorney representing Polis for a possible lawsuit against McDonald’s related to the April beating incident, said he would be meeting with Polis next week and his law firm would likely represent her in the disorderly conduct case, which is scheduled to go to trial in February.

“I’ve reviewed the facts of what happened and the state doesn’t have much of a case,” Scurti said. “But we’re expected to meet with her and at that time we’ll be retained to represent her in the matter…They’re ridiculous charges.”

Scurti declined to provide further details other than to say Polis feels the officer who responded to the scene after she was robbed treated her “very disrespectfully.”

He confirmed an account by the Sun that Polis was released on $7,500 bail but said he didn’t know who posted the $750 bond that secured her release.

The Sun reports that the arresting officer refers to Polis in his police report as “he” and uses Polis’s legal name Christopher Lee Polis.

“The officer wrote in charging documents that Polis screamed profanities and disrupted the neighborhood,” the Sun reported. “The officer said Polis let him into her apartment, which he described as having a mattress but no furniture.”

According to the Sun, the arresting officer said in a police charging document that Polis became highly agitated and “was causing a major disturbance in the neighborhood and would not lower his voice even though I was continually advising him to do so.’”

Polis continued to scream, “’You don’t know who I am. I will have you fired,’” the Sun quoted the officer as saying in his report.

Scurti told the Blade in September that Polis had been hospitalized twice after seeking treatment for post traumatic stress disorder that she suffered as a result of the beating at the McDonald’s.

Two teenage women were charged in the McDonald’s incident. Nineteen-year-old Teonna Brown pled guilty in August to first-degree assault and a hate crime in connection with the case. She was later sentenced to five years in prison. A 14-year old girl, whom authorities haven’t identified, was found “delinquent” in the case and committed to a secure juvenile facility, according to the Baltimore County State’s Attorney’s office.

A video of the beating made by a McDonald’s employee with his cell phone created a national sensation when it went viral on the Internet. It showed the two young women punching and kicking Polis while she lay on the floor screaming for help. One of the girls was shown in the video dragging Polis across the floor by her hair.

Transgender activists in Maryland said the widespread reports of the incident and the graphic showing of the beating in the video led to a greater commitment by members of the Maryland Legislature and Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley to push for passage of a transgender non-discrimination bill in 2012.

Lou Chibbaro Jr. has reported on the LGBT civil rights movement and the LGBT community for more than 30 years, beginning as a freelance writer and later as a staff reporter and currently as Senior News Reporter for the Washington Blade. He has chronicled LGBT-related developments as they have touched on a wide range of social, religious, and governmental institutions, including the White House, Congress, the U.S. Supreme Court, the military, local and national law enforcement agencies and the Catholic Church. Chibbaro has reported on LGBT issues and LGBT participation in local and national elections since 1976. He has covered the AIDS epidemic since it first surfaced in the early 1980s. Follow Lou

  • I feel badly for Chrissy, who obviously needs boatloads of help. Perhaps Dana Beyer or Jeri Hughes, two premminent members of the DC trans community, could advise Chrissy on establishing a purpose-driven life.

  • While I agree that Ms. Polis probably has issues (who wouldn’t after a beating like she experienced), I wonder how many are self-created and how many are the result of outside forces. The misgendering of Ms. Polis in the police report of this incident leads one to believe that she was treated disrespectfully by the responding officer.

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