- The Washington Times - Friday, June 28, 2013

Two transgender women were assaulted Saturday in separate incidents, D.C. police said, marking five attacks against either a transgender woman or a drag queen in the District within the week.

Police said the first assault happened to a transgender woman walking in the 300 block of 61st Street Northeast at about 3:30 a.m. when she accepted a ride from a man she didn’t know.

Once inside the car the man sexually assaulted her, police said.

The other attack happened roughly an hour later in the area of 5th and K streets Northeast, when a transgender woman was shot during a robbery.

Police said the woman was walking along the street when she was approached by two men who attempted to rob her. One of them pulled a gun and fired at the woman, striking her. She was taken to a hospital with injures not considered to be life-threatening.

Officers were looking for the men involved in the attacks Sunday.

The assaults come two days after a transgender woman was shot Thursday morning in a Northeast neighborhood where others have previously been targets of violence.

Police have not classified the three previous attacks, which include the beating of a drag queen inside a pizza shop and the stabbing of a transgender woman in an abandoned building, as hate crimes, nor do they believe the incidents are related.

During Thursday’s attack, two men confronted a transgender woman in the 500 block of Eastern Avenue, initially asking if she had a light, according to a police report. Then one of the men ripped off her wig. The 22-year-old woman turned and fled and was shot once in the buttocks as she ran away. She dropped her purse in the process, which one of the men stole.

Officers from the Sixth District and Gay and Lesbian Liaison Unit are investigating the shooting, Assistant Police Chief Diane Groomes said.

The shooting occurred just blocks from where Myles “Lashay” Mclean, a 23-year-old transgender woman, was fatally shot in July 2011. No one has been charged in her death. Two weeks after Mclean’s death another transgender woman was approached by a man and shot without provocation. A memorial at the site of Mclean’s death, 61st and Dix Street Northeast, was burned months later.

“People are still facing hate and violence. It’s pretty serious,” transgender activist Ruby Corado said of the three incidents this week. “It’s a reminder that being different is not OK.”

On June 21, a transgender woman was stabbed more than 11 times by a man who attempted to make her give him oral sex inside an abandoned Southeast building. Michael Lee McBride, 23, was charged with assault with intent to kill for the attack, which left the victim with a collapsed lung and severed tendon in her hand, according to documents filed in D.C. Superior Court.

The victim remains hospitalized, Ms. Corado said.

Mr. McBride has also been charged in a second stabbing from earlier this month. In that June 7 attack, police said Mr. McBride and another man dragged a man into the woods and beat him, then stole his North Face coat and cellphone. When the man confronted Mr. McBride later, trying to retrieve the cellphone, court records state that Mr. McBride stabbed the man in the back so forcefully that one of the victim’s ribs was cut in half. The man was hospitalized in critical condition.

A drag queen entertainer was also injured this week, though less seriously, in a beating that happened Sunday at a take-out pizza restaurant in Northwest, Metro Weekly reported. In that videotaped attack, a drag queen is seen in an argument with two women inside the restaurant who hit her and yank her around by the hair, causing her to bleed from the head.

The Metropolitan Police Department is not calling that incident a hate crime, with a spokesman stating that the victim and the attackers all knew one another.

Meredith Somers contributed to this report.

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