Crime | Maryland | Transgender

Transgender Woman Brutally Beaten In Baltimore

Two teen girls are under arrest for brutally attacking a 22-year-old transgendered woman at a McDonald's in Baltimore earlier this week. A 14-year-old girl has been charged as a juvenile and charges are still pending for an 18-year-old who was also involved in the attack. A restaurant employee recorded the awful assault on his cell phone.

Mc According to the police report: "(the victim) told police that she was walking to the restaurant’s bathroom when she 'got into a verbal argument with two black females” who “began punching her in the face with their fists and pulling her hair.'"

WBAL reports on details of the video:

"The video shows the two culprits punching and kicking the victim. There is then a scene with one of the women dragging the victim across the floor, ripping what appears to be hair extensions or a wig from her head. On the video, you can hear at least one employee yelling for the attack to stop. Police charging documents show that another person tried to intervene and break up the assault, but the women punched her in the face, causing her to fall over. Police said that woman declined medical assistance...The man who shot the video appeared to have done nothing to help. On the video, he's heard telling the attackers that the victim is seizing and that police were on the way."

McDonald's employee Vernon Hackett, who instead of attempting to stop the assault, filmed the incident on his cell phone and later uploaded it on to his now deleted YouTube channel.

The Smoking Gun has screencaps of messages concerning the incident from Hackett's Facebook page, which has also since been deleted. One of the posts reads:

"That Was Not A Female That Was Getting Beat Up....That Was A Man....He Was Dressed Lik A Woman...And He Was In Tha Females Bathroom Knowing He Was A Man....And When Told To Get Out Tha ladies Bathroom He Got Smart With Everybody So Tha Two Girls Beat Him Up"

Equality Maryland has called for the attack to be pursued as a hate crime: "It does appear that the victim was a transgender woman, and she was brutalized while people stood by and watched...There's no excuse for that violence under any circumstances, but we would encourage police to investigate as a hate crime."

You may recall that the Maryland's gender identity bill was killed in the state senate earlier this month.

McDonald’s has issued a statement: "We are shocked by the video from a Baltimore franchised restaurant showing an assault. This incident is unacceptable, disturbing and troubling. McDonald’s strives to be a safe, welcoming environment for everyone who visits. Nothing is more important to us than the safety of customers and employees in our restaurants. We are working with the franchisee and the local authorities to investigate this matter."

A copy of the police report is here.

Watch the savage attack (wherein the victim apparently suffers a seizure), AFTER THE JUMP.

Update: Hackett's been fired.

View more videos at:


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  1. I hate people. those two 'woman' should be charged as adults and thrown in jail for a very long time.

    Posted by: Brad | Apr 23, 2011 1:10:18 PM

  2. Pathetic how the employees...there's more than one doesn't step in.
    How brave the one elderly woman is for risking her own safety and stepping in.

    Posted by: mcNnyc | Apr 23, 2011 1:28:56 PM

  3. This is very sad news, and my heart goes out to the victim ... no one should have to suffer this kind of abuse. Everyone deserves respect in this world.

    Posted by: Ty | Apr 23, 2011 1:36:59 PM

  4. Since I'm pretty sure I know where this conversation will turn, I'm gonna say this before the calamity starts:

    This is an awful tragedy. Senseless, horrific, animalistic. The fact that the McDonald's employee is defending the act is deplorable. He should be immediately fired. The fact these animals took it into their hands to make an issue with this transgendered female to use the restroom is unacceptable in every single way.

    Do not make this about race. This is not a racial issue. This is a cultural issue that leads to these kids being so ignorant, animalistic and violent. Their skin color is not the reason they are savages. Do not trivialize this awful situation with racist behavior.

    Posted by: Francis | Apr 23, 2011 1:43:41 PM

  5. Well I posted before I saw the very end of the video. Maybe she suffered a concussion from one of the hits and was "out of it" and unable to defend herself or react. Sorry.

    Posted by: Brian in Texas | Apr 23, 2011 1:44:31 PM

  6. Brian in Texas: Had she defended herself, the GIRLS would have sued her for battering and assault, and you can see from the video that NOBODY would have witnessed in her defense. She did the right thing - nothing.

    This video is extremely disturbing. I was almost physically sick watching it. So much hatred, so much violence. People are animals.

    Posted by: G.I. Joe | Apr 23, 2011 2:02:11 PM

  7. I'll echo what Francis said. Those commenters who choose to race-bait or use this thread for related inappropriate discussion may have their commenting privileges revoked and their comments unpublished.

    Posted by: Andy Towle | Apr 23, 2011 2:07:36 PM

  8. How sad!.I just wonder why the Manager didn't lock the doors when those animals were outside. The employee that filmed it should be fired.

    Posted by: Geoff | Apr 23, 2011 2:10:25 PM

  9. If they attacked the victim because she's transgendered, the girls deserve prison time. Transgendered people should have the right to use whatever restroom they please.

    The employees who watched the incident should be terminated. Totally disgusting and inappropriate. But, many Americans, REGARDLESS of color, are ignorant about who transgendered people are.

    Posted by: Mel Smith | Apr 23, 2011 2:26:44 PM

  10. Oh, and I forgot to add, the people who did nothing while this woman was attacked, should all be publicly ID'd. The manager, while trying to help, did not do the job sufficiently. The employees who did nothing to help or goaded the two animals should be fired immediately as well as Mr. Hackett.

    And I'm glad Andy is screening the comments and deleting the inappropriate content, because the comments on the other boards about this issue are so disgusting that it makes you really scratch your head about the world we're living in. Most of them revolving around race, but of course you have about 10% of the comments completely ignorant about the transgendered issue, calling her a cross-dresser, and saying "he" shouldn't have been in the bathroom. As from what I've seen from the police statements, the woman beaten is legally female, so that statement doesn't fly, Ratbastard. And in any case, it's not as if she was going in there to sexually assault these girls. Trans-women aren't "dudes". And calling her a he-she is the height of offensiveness. Actually one of the most offense comments I've seen of this story.

    Posted by: Francis | Apr 23, 2011 2:34:31 PM

  11. Does anyone know if she is okay? I hope she sues McDonalds and wins. There is no excuse for the employees just standing there and taping.

    Posted by: Vito | Apr 23, 2011 2:38:28 PM

  12. It's funny how the guy filming didn't do anything to help the victim but was probly the most helpful person in this case. Maybe this will spur a change in Maryland's gender identity bill because that was just brutal. the woman was on the ground and not getting up and a couple of those kicks were just plain for fun. that was pure violence and i wonder how those girls could be so ignorant.

    Posted by: mike | Apr 23, 2011 2:43:03 PM

  13. @ratbastard:

    I'm a "transgendered dude". I don't use the women's restroom, I'm a guy. Perhaps you are confused about a few things.

    This was a trans woman who was beat up at the McDonalds. Do you have an opinion on which restroom she is supposed to use, or none at all?

    Posted by: JakeSFExPat | Apr 23, 2011 2:45:18 PM

  14. I was not aware she is legally female or presumably post-op. My bathroom comment regards males dressed as females. I think most people can understand why males dressed as females or pretending to be female [transvestites? I don't know what the appropriate title/name is] shouldn't be using ladies room.

    But it would appear people somehow knew she was transgendered, so It's a little confusing.

    Posted by: ratbastard | Apr 23, 2011 2:45:32 PM

  15. @ MAX

    There was white man convicted of a brutal stabbing murder in Indiana for killing an out gay BLACK professor this week.

    Can you cite some examples of your claim that "attackers are almost always black"

    Posted by: Brian in Texas | Apr 23, 2011 2:48:47 PM

  16. Some gays have created a social hierarchy which places them ahead of transgendered people. Guess what? We're all in the same boat!! Transgendered people are ostracized and gay folks are ostracized too!!

    Who in the hell do you think you are to look down on a transgendered person when we are all in the same category? If you see them in the street, it is correct to refer to them as being transgendered, period.

    Posted by: Mel Smith | Apr 23, 2011 2:52:29 PM

  17. While it's true that it's horrible to know that am employee is not physically intervening, it's also helpful to have proof. You -KNOW- the perpetrators would claim self-defense otherwise.

    Posted by: Mike B. | Apr 23, 2011 2:55:54 PM

  18. @G.I. JOE,

    Transphobic? I wasn't aware I used bad or disrespectful language. If any language I used did offend you, please accept my apologies. It was not my intention to deliberately and maliciously target anyone so I could offend them.

    Posted by: ratbastard | Apr 23, 2011 2:56:46 PM

  19. Max, Michael Sandy, a gay BLACK man, was gay bashed by WHITE teens in Brooklyn, NYC. Sandy was killed after being hit by a car for attempting to escape his attackers.

    Posted by: Mel Smith | Apr 23, 2011 3:00:16 PM

  20. Please recognize before jumping and immediately attacking "ratbastard" that this is a huge part of the problem within the LGBT and, in fact, social justice community.

    People simply don't know the appropriate language to use, because, it can be, for many people, jargon. An elevated language-set specific to people particularly educated or prone to a specific community. Get to the motives behind the language and provide people like ratbastard, and many of our heterosexual/gender-normative allies, with the language, so that they too can feel confident further educating others and defending victims.

    Many within the gay community still need these tools, and while we should take it upon ourselves to educate ourselves about the many diverse communities within the LGBT movement, not all people know where, or how, to do so.

    Stop attacking those of us on the same side over language, when it's clear the motives are pure. Correct, support, and provide with the tools necessary.

    Nothing infuriated me more during undergrad than the more militant individuals of our community constantly destroying those who accidentally, ignorantly, or inadvertently use inappropriate "language."

    Posted by: Derek in Madison | Apr 23, 2011 3:03:38 PM

  21. Yes, Brian and Mel. There are white thugs too. No one ever said otherwise. But there aren't any white thugs in this video, so you're off topic just to be politically correct.

    Transgendered people need to arm themselves.

    Posted by: Max | Apr 23, 2011 3:05:34 PM

  22. Max, what about Kevin Schmersal, the WHITE man arrested in Maine for an anti-gay attack? This was posted TWO DAYS AGO!!! Or what about the Lesbian Italian politician story that towleroad posted yesterday about how she and her girlfriend were disrespected by a mob in ITALY. One person said that SHE SHOULD BE SENT TO THE OVEN!!!

    Now, stop making everything a white or black issue. You don't want black people playing the race card. You should stop playing the race card too!!!

    Posted by: Mel Smith | Apr 23, 2011 3:10:18 PM

  23. Question and Max are race baiting....

    Posted by: Rowan | Apr 23, 2011 3:16:51 PM

  24. soon, these girls name will be released. God help these two animals. i say eye for an eye.

    Posted by: barn | Apr 23, 2011 3:20:21 PM

  25. @Mel Smith,

    Mel, I would counter [not just to be a contrary troll] that the Maine incident was I'm sure upsetting to the victims, very minor in the scheme of things. The Rome incident was more serious, but neither of them rises to the level of this McDonald's incident. It was remarkably savage, even more so by the attitude of most of the by-standers.

    Posted by: ratbastard | Apr 23, 2011 3:20:52 PM

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