A masked person attacked a transgender woman at a local LGBTQ community center, spraying her in the face with mace and forcing her to be hospitalized.
The attack occurred around 1:45 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 12 at Casa Ruby, in the 2800 block of Georgia Ave. NW.
The suspect, who has not yet been identified, can be seen on video footage captured by a security camera on Casa Ruby’s premises. The footage was subsequently posted to MPD’s official YouTube channel.
The suspect is wearing a blue hoodie, sunglasses, and a red-and-white bandana or scarf around their nose and mouth.
The video footage shows the suspect enter Casa Ruby’s offices, approach the woman from behind and begin spraying her, before turning around and running out of the building.
The victim in the attack was transported by ambulance to a local hospital, where she was treated for non-life threatening injuries.
In a press release, the Metropolitan Police Department said it was investigating the offense as a hate- or bias-motivated crime. However, that does not necessarily mean that prosecutors will pursue hate crime enhancements if the case is ever brought to trial.
Detectives with MPD’s Fourth District are seeking the public’s help in identifying the suspect. Anyone with information about the attack or the suspect can reach out to police by calling 202-727-9099 or submitting an anonymous tip to the Text Tip Line by sending a text message to 50411. There is currently a reward of up to $1,000 for anyone who provides information leading to the arrest and indictment of the person or people responsible for a crime in the District of Columbia.
This is not the first time that clients and staff at Casa Ruby have been harassed or attacked by outsiders. One man came into the community center two separate times and attempted to hit on some of the youth at Casa Ruby. When they didn’t respond, he punched a hole in the wall both times — even though he had been arrested after the first incident.
A second man, who had come to Casa Ruby on multiple occasions to hit on some of the clients, returned one day in March to accuse one of the staffers of talking about him, assaulted the staffer, and then returned to throw a large concrete brick through the front glass door.
This is a developing story.