TUKWILA, Wash. — A transgender woman said she was attacked by four teenagers who had been riding on a bus with her in Tukwila.
Investigators say the woman got onto the bus on Tukwila International Boulevard near the airport just before 11 p.m. Tuesday.
She told detectives four teenagers were calling her derogatory names before all of them boarded the bus. As they headed south on Route 150, the woman got up, and after a short conversation, pepper-sprayed the teens, who were sitting near the back of the bus, according to Sgt. Ryan Abbott with the King County Sheriff’s Office.
When she got off the bus near Andover Park and Midland, the teens followed, chased her down and attacked her, according to deputies.
Deputies said what happened next is being investigated as a hate crime.
"As they’re assaulting this victim, they’re yelling some derogatory slurs at her in relation to her sexual orientation, " said Abbott. "One of those individuals has a hatchet or a hammer and he swings it towards the person that pepper sprayed them.
While police said the teens had a BB gun and a hatchet, they didn’t use those weapons, but instead beat her.
A witness recorded the attack on a cellphone.
“I wish people would get more proactive and do more than just videotape these things because people are getting seriously hurt,” said bus rider Robert Motter.
The victim is legally blind, but witnesses and the cellphone video helped identify the teens.
Detectives are reviewing the cellphone video and video from the bus. They said they it doesn’t show the teens talking to the victim on the bus. KIRO 7 has asked to see the videos.
The victim was treated and released from the hospital.
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