October 7, 2019 at 9:42 am EDT | by Lou Chibbaro Jr.
Third suspect arrested in DC gas station attack on trans woman
D.C. police have arrested a third suspect in connection with the robbery and attack of a transgender woman at a Northeast D.C. gas station on Aug. 2, 2019. (Image courtesy of the Metropolitan Police Department)

D.C. police on Friday announced they have arrested a third juvenile male implicated in the Aug. 2 assault and robbery of a transgender woman by seven young men in two locations, including inside a convenience store at a Citgo gas station at 3820 Minnesota Ave., N.E.

Police have designated the incident, which took place shortly after 3 a.m., as an anti-transgender bias related crime based on an account by the victim, D.C. resident Alicia Love Wood, saying the suspects “used language towards the victim which indicated a potential bias towards the victim’s gender identity/expression.”

Wood described the incident in detail in a posting on Facebook and in an interview with the Washington Blade. She said a total of seven young men attacked her at first on a side street just off Minnesota Avenue., N.E., and a short time later three of them assaulted and robbed her at the Citgo gas station, where she ran seeking help. 

In an Oct. 4 statement, police said in pursuant to a D.C. Superior Court custody order they arrested the third suspect, a 16-year-old juvenile male from Southeast D.C., on a charge of Robbery Force and Violence.

In a statement one day earlier, police similarly said in pursuant to a D.C. Superior Court custody order they arrested the second suspect, a 15-year-old juvenile male of Southwest D.C., on a charge of Robbery Force and Violence.

The arrest of the 16-year old and 15-year-old followed the Aug. 13 arrest by D.C. police of a 17-year-old juvenile male on the same charge of Robbery Force and Violence in connection with the same incident.

The first suspect, the 17-year-old, was arrested four days after police released a video showing four of the seven suspects at the Citgo gas station, where Wood said three of them assaulted and robbed her. The video shows three of the suspects entering a small convenience store at the gas station, where Wood said she fled to seek help after first being attacked by all seven of the suspects on the street about one block from the gas station.

The video shows a fourth suspect outside the store looking inside through a large glass window.

The two most recent police statements announcing the second and third arrests say the case remains under investigation.

“Anyone who has knowledge of this incident should take no action but call police at 202-727-9099 or text your tip to the Department’s TEXT TIP LINE at 50411,” the two statements say. They note that the city’s Crime Solver’s program offers a reward of up to $1,000 to anyone who provides information leading to the arrest and indictment of the person or persons response for this type of crime.

“The Metropolitan Police Department is investigating this case as potentially being motivated by hate or bias,” the latest two statements say. “The designation can be changed at any point as the investigation proceeds and more information is gathered,” they state. “A designation as a hate crime by MPD does not mean that prosecutors will prosecute it as a hate crime.”

Under the city’s criminal law pertaining to juveniles, the Office of the D.C. Attorney General, which prosecutes juvenile cases, cannot disclose the names or any other information about such cases, including the outcome of the case.

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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