Crime | News | Washington DC

Two Gay Men, Trans Woman Shot and Beaten in Separate Attacks in D.C.'s Columbia Heights: VIDEO

ColumbiaA man has been brutally beaten in an anti-gay attack in Washington D.C.'s Columbia Heights neighborhood, NBC Washington reports:

The attack happened around 9:15 pm on Monday night on Georgia Avenue. The 29-year-old victim says the homophobic remarks began as he stepped out of a taxi. It wasn't long before the suspects assaulted him. The victim managed to call his partner for help during the attack, but the suspects turned off his phone. The victims jaw was shattered into two pieces before he was attacked again and dragged along the sidewalk. The suspects stole the victim’s iPhone, iPad, and wallet. He is still in the hospital.

The victim's partner wrote Towleroad this morning. Unfortunately, the victim is still in the ICU.

Watch NBC Washington's report, AFTER THE JUMP...

The Washington Blade adds that another gay man and a transgender woman were attacked the following day:

The gay male victims remained hospitalized this week, with one being treated for a bullet wound to his liver and the other awaiting surgery Wednesday afternoon to repair a broken jaw. The transgender woman was treated and released for a head injury after being knocked unconscious. Police have listed the attacks against the two gay men as anti-gay hate crimes. The attack against the transgender woman was not listed as a hate crime but police are looking into the possibility that it may have been an anti-trans hate crime, according to a police report. Officers assigned to the police Gay & Lesbian Liaison Unit were said to be involved in the investigation into each of the incidents.

IhopThe attack in which the gay man was shot took place at a local iHOP:

Aaron Woodland, who identified himself as the victim’s cousin, said he and another cousin were with the victim at the restaurant when the incident occurred. According to Woodland, the three suspects were sitting at a table near where the victim and the two cousins were seated. He said the suspects referred to the victim and the two cousins repeatedly as “faggies” while the two parties sat at their separate tables.

An altercation took place in which the victim was shot. More at The Blade regarding description of the crimes and the suspects.


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  1. Ghetto a** DC.

    Posted by: TyN | Mar 15, 2012 12:27:26 PM

  2. This does not surprise me for the neighborhood. You must be aware of your surrounding at all times when in that part of D.C. Also, would not be surprised if the suspects traveled from S.E. or PG.

    Posted by: Anita Pill | Mar 15, 2012 12:37:19 PM

  3. Thanks for that enlightening comment TYN. This happens everywhere, unfortunately, not just in "ghetto ass DC".

    Not a fan of Columbia Heights myself, but have several friends who live there. I call for cabs directly in front of the building I'm leaving, and avoid taking Metro from that station. It just doesn't feel as safe/friendly as other neighborhoods, but is "coming around" - or something.

    Posted by: MarkR | Mar 15, 2012 12:44:00 PM

  4. With people like Rick Santorum out there making also kinds of hateful false claims about homosexuals it's no wonder this type of crime happens. Make no mistake, it will get much worse if he's elected. With any luck Rick's campaign bus will run him over.

    Posted by: Oliver | Mar 15, 2012 12:47:41 PM

  5. I live at Georgia and Irving. It's actually a very safe neighborhood. I don't feel uncomfortable walking around, but with that said, pay attention to your surroundings. There's always a group of teenagers hanging out in front of a convenience store there.

    Posted by: Erich | Mar 15, 2012 12:54:50 PM

  6. I've been to DC many times, and have family and friends there. DC is a city with A LOT of violent crime. This is a fact. It's been that way since at least the late 60s-70s, although it's getting a little better than the bad old 1970s-80s. Compare it with a similar sized city like Boston, and the difference is night and day.

    Posted by: ratbastard | Mar 15, 2012 12:55:09 PM

  7. @MARKR:

    It does, but it doesn't mean that DC isn't straight ghett.

    Posted by: TyN | Mar 15, 2012 1:42:57 PM

  8. Oliver, do you really think that these 3 suspects have been, or are going to be influenced by Rick Santorum? Im not sure Rick Santorum has a lot of support among young, black D.C voters. This is not a political story at all.

    Posted by: ScottNYC | Mar 15, 2012 1:43:22 PM

  9. Columbia Heights hardly counts as "ghetto a** DC," TYN. Million dollar houses and luxury condos have popped up in recent years and rents continue to escalate compared with the rest of the city.

    Unfortunately, this March "heat wave" is having an effect on crime, just as violent crime numbers tend to go up during the Summer months.

    Posted by: John | Mar 15, 2012 1:49:34 PM

  10. Scottnyc, of COURSE it's political.

    a thought experiment for ya: imagine if full gay equality had been ratified along w/ the emancipation proclamation. there'd be a lot less anti-gay hate today.

    politics/law --> social norms --> behavior

    Posted by: redball | Mar 15, 2012 1:49:51 PM

  11. @SCOTTNYC: Perhaps not Santorum specifically, but certainly we can agree that it is the overall anti-gay, "masculine = good, feminine = bad" culture that has its roots in so-called "Christian" values that is at least partly responsible for such violence.

    It's not really so much that people listen to ideologues like Santorum and decide to be influenced by them on a conscious level. It's really more that they see how society in general permits--even facilitates--such blatantly homophobic messages, and bigots don't face any consequences for their hate. It is the way in which society diminishes us through their words, their actions, and the denial of our legal and constitutional rights. It is how we are portrayed as criminals, perverts, degenerates, or "intrinsically disordered," and how that develops into a conception of GLBTs as a group that's okay to bash.

    So no, Santorum is not directly accountable in the sense that you might ask these perpetrators if they did what they did because they saw him on TV, or something similarly absurd. But he is nevertheless accountable in the broader sense of being a bigot who seeks to deny us equality, who sees us as diseased, and who gives these criminals some degree (however small) of justification for their crimes.

    Posted by: atomic | Mar 15, 2012 1:58:25 PM

  12. Part of the problem with DC is our criminal justice system, which just lets juvenile offenders back on the streets literally hours after they commit a crime.

    When I was assaulted, the police told me point blank- we probably won't catch them but if we do, the DA will go for minor charges.

    I believe clashes of culture like this will continue until the demographics of DC continue to change. Sooner or later the new people in DC will demand a more stringent enforcement and justice system even for juveniles.

    Of course this will all involve lots of fun racial politics, which will make reading the post comments section a joy.

    Posted by: lotusmoon | Mar 15, 2012 2:07:10 PM

  13. Let's get realistic here. This is similar to the incidents that happened in Atlanta and Boston recently. Columbia Heights has a bad reputation for crime, with reason. It is NOT a safe place at night and there IS a lot of crime. That's just the reality here. I'm not going to blame the individuals attacked for this, that they weren't knowledgeable of their surroundings. No, the people to blame are those who committed the attacks and those who perpetrated them.

    People like Rick Santorum give justification to the homophobic attitudes other bigots have by loudly proclaiming gay people are diseased without any dissent or anyone publicly putting him in check and holding him accountable. With that said, with hate crimes such as these, where the attackers are from urban areas, the blame again falls on the culture that CREATES homophobic mentalities. These thugs attack gay men because they see gay men as weak and vulnerable. We have to assert ourselves and let it be known we won't be victims anymore.

    Posted by: Francis | Mar 15, 2012 2:14:00 PM

  14. Redball, yeah because the Emancipation Proclamation completely eradicated racism. We totally live in a post-racial society today. There's no racism today, not even in the Gay community. LOL.

    Posted by: sugarrhill | Mar 15, 2012 2:15:18 PM

  15. sugarrhill, i'm well aware we're not post-racial. that's why i said "a lot less" instead of "none." ;-) "less" would have been even better.

    (and if i'd spent more than 2 min writing my comment i would also have said "in the 1800s" instead of mentioning the Emancipation Proclamation. my point was about the time it takes for prejudice to fade even a little bit,not making an analogy b/w race & sexual orientation)

    Posted by: redball | Mar 15, 2012 3:14:54 PM

  16. Lotusmoon is totally right, the criminal justice system, not just in DC but countrywide, is abysmal, particularly when it comes towards catching and convicting those who abuse gays, and minorities in general. Which gives attackers all the incentive in the world to abuse innocents, because they know they'll most likely get away with it completely or with a slap on the wrist.

    Hate crimes like this are not political, they're cultural. The general groups of individuals who commit hate crimes against gays and verbally denigrate homosexuality are the same now as they've always been. Until these groups gets the message in no uncertain terms their homophobia will NO LONGER be tolerated, expect the homophobia to continue to shine.

    Posted by: Francis | Mar 15, 2012 3:45:47 PM

  17. Wow -- gay people shot by blacks. Who would've thought?

    Posted by: Vince | Mar 15, 2012 4:38:23 PM

  18. Did I miss the part when that said that the people who did this were black?

    Posted by: James | Mar 16, 2012 1:15:12 AM

  19. The suspects in the shooting are 2 black males and one black female. I am not making any kind of commentary on the race issue--just simply providing a fact since someone asked.

    Posted by: ATLJason | Mar 16, 2012 10:27:10 AM

  20. In ref to above: What a shock. And probably Democrats too.

    Posted by: Joe | Mar 16, 2012 10:40:12 AM

  21. They probably don't even vote.

    Posted by: John NYC | Mar 16, 2012 12:08:22 PM

  22. There are black ministers in DC and Baltimore who are really preaching hate in the pulpit and trying to get the new marriage law in Maryland defeated in November. This filters down to the thugs who do things like this.

    Posted by: esslar | Mar 17, 2012 6:16:49 AM

  23. The Blacks are doing this! Wake Up!!!

    Posted by: tonnyd | Mar 21, 2012 1:48:29 PM

  24. The biggest homophobes in society today are blacks.

    Posted by: Real Talk | Mar 22, 2012 5:53:43 AM

  25. This message is to the person or people involved in attacking gays and lesbians. What right, does anyone have, to take it upon themselves, to attack someone else because of their sexual preference? I'm not gay but whom is anyone to play God? No one is prefect. You are not the judge of man, God is and let God deal with it. What if someone attacked you because of your skim color? Keep your dam hands to yourself and don't chastise others. You too are not with out sin.

    Posted by: Dresia Vaughn | Aug 10, 2012 5:52:09 PM

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