On Tuesday night, Dec. 10, 2019 at 10:19 p.m., Deputies responded to an assault that began onboard a Metro bus near S. 180 Street / Andover Park W. in Tukwila (map below).
Police say that a transgender female had ridden the bus south from downtown Seattle. At a stop near South Center, several juvenile males boarded the bus.
According to other passengers/witnesses (and seen in a video below), the transgender female walked to the back of the bus and deployed pepper spray on the four juveniles:
The woman then left the bus, but was chased by the juveniles into the middle of Andover Park W., where they assaulted her.
Cell phone video from witnesses captured the female lying on the ground motionless and defenseless while being punched and stomped repeatedly by the suspects:
During the assault, witnesses heard the suspects yelling offensive slurs at the transgender female victim.
All suspects fled on foot and were subsequently stopped by Tukwila Police
The victim suffered non-life threatening injuries and was transported to Valley Medical Center. She later gave a statement that there had been an altercation earlier in the evening with the juveniles. When they got on the bus, the woman explained she felt threatened and deployed pepper spray.
The suspects were booked into Youth Services Center for investigation of felony assault and malicious Harassment (Hate Crime).
CHARGES FILED AGAINST BOTH PARTIES
The King County Sheriff’s Office says that charges against both a transgender female and four juveniles will be forwarded to prosecutors for review.
Police investigations determined the following:
- A review of video from onboard the Metro coach shows the female to be the aggressor, using pepper spray, in an unprovoked attack on the four juveniles sitting at the back of the bus.
- The female initially claimed the group of juveniles threatened her, which led her to pepper spraying the juveniles in an attempt to “neutralize” a perceived threat.
- According to a detective, the bus footage disproved claims that the juveniles had threatened the female. We will be referring a Felony Assault 3 case to prosecutors.
- There was a lapse in time before the juveniles left the bus and perpetrated an assault on the female, part of which was captured on a cellphone. The lapse in time eliminates a self-defense claim.
- The female sustained minor injuries.
- Detectives will be referring an Assault 4 case against the juveniles.
- At this time, we will not be referring the case as a hate crime. Although witnesses did hear offensive slurs used by the juveniles, the motive for the assault appears to be retaliation for the pepper spray incident, not the victim’s gender or orientation.