August 5, 2019 at 9:00 am EDT | by Lou Chibbaro Jr.
Transgender woman beaten, robbed at DC gas station
Alicia Love, gay news, Washington Blade
Alicia Love says a group of men attacked her on Aug. 2, 2019, after she left work. (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

A transgender woman who just got off work from her job as a manager at the D.C. Eagle gay bar about 3 a.m. on Aug. 2 was beaten and robbed by seven male attackers about three blocks from the Eagle as she was walking to a convenience store at a gas station on Minnesota Avenue, N.E., according to a police report and her account of the incident to the Washington Blade.

Alicia Love, who first disclosed the incident in a harrowing account on her Facebook page, said the attack took place at two locations, at the gas station and less than a block away on the street.

She told the Blade the incident began when she was walking along Minnesota Avenue after getting off work from her Thursday night shift at the Eagle, as she frequently does, to stop at a late-night convenience store at the Citgo gas station at 3820 Minnesota Avenue, N.E. She said she often goes there to buy her favorite Airheads brand of candy.

“As I’m going to the gas station I walked past a group of seven guys and they were calling me names like tranny, he-she, faggot,” she told the Blade during an interview on Sunday. “I ignored it and I stayed focused on where I was walking,” she said.

But minutes later as she got close to the gas station she noticed the men were following her so she changed course slightly and walked across the street to what the police report says was the 3800 block of Blaine Street, N.E., which is just off Minnesota Avenue and a short distance from the gas station.

“And basically, they started saying give me your purse, give me your stuff, and I was like leave me alone, I don’t want any problems,” Love told the Blade.

“So, before I could say anything more they ran up on me, all seven of the guys, and they jumped me,” she said. “And I fell to the ground and they started to kick me and punch me and kick me in my face and called me names — tranny,” she continued.

“So, they took my purse, and that’s why I was so scared because I was getting up and getting ready to run across the street and they realized there was no money and anything valuable in my purse,” Love said. Her greatest fear at that moment, she recounted, was the attackers saw she had a so-called fanny pack or belt bag around her waist, which was where her money, bank debit card, and other important items were located.

It was at that time, she said, that she ran for her life toward the gas station as the attacker who discovered her purse had no valuables in it and two of the other attackers ran after her. She managed to run into a small convenience store that’s part of the Citgo gas station and immediately asked the cashier, who was sitting inside an enclosed booth behind a counter, to let her inside the booth.

“I told him they’re coming after me, can you please let me in,” she told the Blade. “I’m like I need help. So, he looked at me and ignored me and they [the attackers] came in there. It was three guys,” she said.

“And they started to punch me and beat me up and they took my fanny pack and they took my phone and everything,” Love said. In the midst of the struggle, before they took her phone, according to Love, she managed to call 911 and tried to explain where she was and what was happening.

“I basically was in disbelief,” she said, after the attackers fled the scene. “I just came out of the gas station [store] and fell on the ground and started to cry. I just didn’t know what to do. I was crouched up. I was bruised up.”

Minutes later D.C. police arrived, she told the Blade. A short time after that, she said, Lt. Jessica Hawkins, the openly trans D.C. cop who up until last year served as supervisor for the police’s LGBT Liaison Unit, also arrived on the scene. Hawkins and the other officers took her information for a report, she said. Love said she declined an offer by police to arrange for an ambulance to take her to a hospital.

Although she was bruised and suffered scrapes and a cut on her leg that was bleeding, she told the officers she wanted to go home and be by herself for the remainder of the night. She said Hawkins drove her home.

The police report says among the items taken by the attackers was $300 in cash, her iPhone, an Uber card, a bank Visa card, and her D.C. ID. The report lists the incident as a suspected hate crime.

Love states on her Facebook page that in addition to working as a manager at the Eagle, she performs at the D.C. leather bar in drag shows and also performs in drag shows at several other gay and LGBT-supportive bars and clubs in the D.C. area.

The hate-bias attack against her on Aug. 2 became the eighth incident of violence against one or more LGBT people in the D.C. area since the June 13 murder of Zoe Spears, a trans woman, in Fairmount Heights, Md., just across the D.C. line in Prince George’s County. P.G. police last month arrested a Baltimore man on a charge of first-degree murder in connection with the Spears murder.

The other incidents took place in D.C. and involved assaults and robberies by assailants who appear to have targeted their victims because of their sexual orientation and gender identity.

The most recent of the other incidents occurred on July 22 and July 24 when an unidentified male suspect targeted three trans women for armed robberies on the street in separate locations where trans women congregate, according to D.C. police.

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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