Man arrested after aggravated assault of transgender woman caught on video

BlakeDavidTaylor/iStock(DALLAS) — A man has been arrested in connection to the beating of a transgender woman in Dallas.

Dallas police announced on their blog that Edward Thomas, a 29-year-old black man, was charged Sunday with aggravated assault.

Thomas is in custody at the Dallas County Jail. His bond was set for $75,000, according to the jail’s website, and it is not clear if he has obtained a lawyer.

The Dallas Police Department said the incident is being flagged to the district attorney as a possible hate crime.

Thomas’ arrest comes two days after the alleged assault, which was captured on video and spread widely over social media.

The video shows the woman in a parking lot near the apartment complex when a man in a white long-sleeved T-shirt and white shorts runs up to her and slings her to the ground. He then pins her to the ground and starts raining left and right punches on the woman’s head. Several other men join in the assault, stomping and kicking the woman while she’s down.

The woman told police her attackers used homophobic slurs during the incident.

The woman told Dallas ABC station WFAA she suffered facial fractures and a right arm injury in the attack. She declined an on-camera interview.

Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings said he was “extremely angry” about the attack.

“Chief [Renee] Hall alerted me this morning to the assault at the Royal Crest Apartments and I have seen a video of what happened,” Rawlings said in a statement Saturday. “I am extremely angry about what appears to be mob violence against this woman. I am in contact with the chief and she assured me that the Dallas Police Department is fully investigating, including the possibility that this was a hate crime.”

He added, “Those who did this do not represent how Dallasites feel about our thriving LGBTQ community. We will not stand for this kind of behavior.”

Dallas police thanked the public for its assistance and asked for anyone with information to call authorities.

Twenty-six transgender people, the vast majority women, were killed in 2018, according to tracking by the Human Rights Campaign. One of those women, 26-year-old Karla Patricia Flores-Pavón, was strangled in her apartment in Dallas on May 9.

Eighty percent of trans women killed in the past six years were women of color, HRC reports.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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