Women charged in transgender hate crime

by: David Ham Updated:

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SEATTLE —

Seattle police have arrested Artega Jackson and have a warrant to arrest Marjorie Marple for allegedly attacking a woman they thought was transgender.

The victim told police she was photographing a garbage problem on 3rd Avenue and Virginia Street around 2 a.m. on June 11. 

She said Jackson and Marple accosted her because they thought she was photographing them. 

The victim started recording video on her iPhone and one of the suspects started yelling.

Court documents also said the suspects pulled the victim's wig from her head and then called her a man and a transexual.

Sgt. Sean Whitcomb of the Seattle Police Department said the suspects became more aggressive when they thought the victim was transgender. 

"They upped their behavior. They aggravated their behavior and started name calling and getting physically aggressive," said Whitcomb. 

The victim told police she was kicked and punched, but was eventually able to retreat into a nearby apartment lobby.

"Seattle's supposed to be progressive. It's not very progressive when you have somebody screaming, 'Come here faggot' and rushing at this person," Shaun Knittel, of LGBT advocacy group, Social Outreach Seattle believes that more transgender people are being targeted in Seattle. 

Seattle police confirmed that there is a spike in hate crimes, but could not tell us where, or how much it has grown.

"It's a bias crime, it's an aggravator, it makes a regular crime even more stricter. And it gets a little more attention from us," said Whitcomb.

He added there is a designated detective in the violent crimes unit that investigates all of the city's hate crimes.

The victim was also attacked in a separate incident in the same area on 3rd Avenue by someone else according to a Facebook post. 

Police say they are keeping an eye on crimes in Belltown. 

"We actually have a robust staffing plan for Belltown that encompasses officers on bikes officers on foot  patrol and officers in cars," said Whitcomb.

Jackson was booked into the King County Jail on $50,000 bail. 

Her criminal history includes convictions for felony harassment and assault, criminal trespass, obstruction and drug charges.

There is a $50,000 warrant out for Marple's arrest. Her criminal history includes armed robbery, forgery, trespass and drug charges.

 Arraignment for both suspects is set for July 21. 

"This was the first I heard of this issue and I’m going to be in the courtroom i'm going to bring people and we're going to make sure that there's support," Knittel added, "It's a hate crime and a message has to be sent to other people that think that they're going to be able to do this and they won't get away with it."