LAPD investigators are looking for five suspects who may have been involved with a brutal attack on a transgender woman in Hollywood.
The 25-year-old victim left a bar frequented by gay Latinos near the intersection of La Brea and Melrose avenues around 1:00 am on Oct. 4. Apparently she was approached by three women and two men who followed her and attacked her - leaving her with a broken jaw and cheek bone. A surveillance camera at the medical marijuana store next door caught the victim talking with some of the people believed to be her attackers. Police are looking for the five people caught on tape, especially the shirtless man in this still taken from the video.
"According to witnesses, the attackers were beating and kicking the victim in the middle of the street, said Los Angeles Police Sgt. Mitzi Grasso. The victim was kicked in the face and was hit on the head with a bottle, leaving cuts on the victim’s neck.
The victim, who lives in the San Fernando Valley, is 5′4″ and 125 pounds. Police have not yet classified the attack as a hate crime but said the investigation was continuing, said Grasso, who called the attack “unusually vicious.”
The suspects fled in a white Chevy Suburban. Anyone with information is asked to call the LAPD Wilshire Division’s Major Assault Crimes Section at (213) 922-9234 or (213) 922-8268. During non-business hours or weekends, callers can try 1-877-LAPD-24-7 or anonymously contact Crimestoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS, (800)-222-8477.
Tipsters may also contact Crimestoppers by texting 274637 (C-R-I-M-E-S on most key pads) using a cellphone. All text messages should begin with the acronym LAPD. Tipsters can also go to www.LAPDOnline.org, click on “web tips” and follow the prompts.
There is an LGBT Police Forum on Thursday, Nov. 4 from 6:00-8:00pm at the LA Gay & Lesbian Center's Village at Ed Gould Plaza, 1125 N. McCadden Place, LA 90028. In addendence will be LAPD Chief Charlie Beck, Assistant Chief Sandy Jo Mac Arthur, Capt. Beatrice M. Girmala (from the Hollywood area), and openly gay Police Commissioner Rob Saltzman. Also there will be the LAPD's new LGBT Liaison – Officer Cassandra Maura.
No doubt the community will have a few questions - such as: why did it take three weeks for the LAPD to draw public attention to this vicious attack? And, why is it not considered a hate crime if the victim is transgender and was known to have come out of a gay bar? I have a question, as well: Why does the LGBT press have to find out about the “unusually vicious” beating of a transgender woman from the mainstream media and not directly from the LAPD?
Image: Surveillance video shows the victim being approached by the suspects. Credit: KTLA via LAPD