August 2, 2016 at 9:41 am EDT | by Lou Chibbaro Jr.
Trans women assaulted, robbed in Silver Spring
Montgomery County Police, gay news, Washington Blade

Two suspects are charged in ‘hate-based’ incident.

Montgomery County police on Monday arrested two male suspects for allegedly committing a hate-based assault and robbery against two transgender women outside a 7-Eleven store at 11445 Amherst Ave. in Silver Spring, Md., according to a police statement.

The statement says the two women, ages 36 and 44, are Hispanic and were approached by two Hispanic men who “began a verbal confrontation in Spanish using disparaging sexual orientation based epithets.”

When the 36-year-old victim began recording the incident on her cell phone, one of the suspects threw a cup of noodles he was holding on the two victims, the statement says.

“Both suspects grabbed for the cell phone and began punching and kicking the victims,” it says. “The 36-year-old victim was pushed into the store’s front-glass window, causing a large portion of it to crack.”

The statement says the suspects obtained the cell phone from the victim and ran from the scene. It says police located and apprehended the suspects on the 11200 block of Georgia Avenue after police interviewed the victims and obtained a description of the suspects.

The police statement identifies the suspects as Carlos Hernandez-Sanez, 18, and Edras Vasquez, 20, both of an unknown address.

It says police charged Hernandez-Sanez with robbery, second-degree assault, malicious destruction of property valued over $1,000, and a hate crime for harassment of a person “based on race/religion/sexual orientation.” He is being held on a $65,000 bond.

According to the statement, police charged Vasquez with robbery, two counts of second-degree assault, malicious destruction of property valued over $1,000, and two counts of harassment of a person “based on race/religion/sexual orientation.” Vasquez is being held on a $125,000 bond, police said.

Police said both victims received medical attention at a nearby police station for minor injuries.

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

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