D.C. police are seeking help from the public in identifying a male suspect who assaulted and robbed a transgender woman at about 9:25 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 17, and attempted to rob another trans woman who was with her next to a park along the 7700 block of Eastern Avenue, N.W.
Both women are clients at the Casa Ruby LGBT services center at 7530 Georgia Ave., N.W., and currently reside at the center’s housing facility at that location, which is about two blocks away from where the attack occurred, according to Casa Ruby spokesperson Consuella Lopez.
A police report says the woman who was assaulted and robbed told officers who responded to the scene that the suspect “made a sign with his hand going across his neck and said ,‘I’m going to kill you’ — ‘I hate transgender female.’”
The report says the suspect then punched the woman in the face with a closed fist, kicked her on her back, forcefully grabbed her book bag and removed her purse from the bag, which the report says contained $40 in cash.
It says the suspect also attempted to grab the second woman’s purse but was unable to take it away from her.
The report lists the incident as a suspected hate crime based on the victims’ status as trans women.
A separate police statement issued on Wednesday says the suspect was captured by a nearby surveillance camera and can be seen in a video and photos released by police.
“Anyone who can identify this individual or who has knowledge of this incident should take no action by call police at 202-727-9099 or text your tip to the Department’s TEXT TIP LINE at 50411,” the statement says. It notes that the police Crime Solvers program currently offers a reward of up to $1,000 to anyone who provides information that leads to an arrest and indictment of a person responsible for a crime committed in D.C.
LGBT activists have expressed concern that the number of hate crimes targeting LGBT people in D.C., especially trans women of color, has increased significantly during the past six months.
The police video of the suspect can be viewed here: