A 53-year-old trans woman was attacked on the 900 block of North Watts Street on the afternoon of Tuesday, August 18th, Philadelphia Police announced today. The victim was transported to Hahnemann Hospital where she is in critical condition.
The attack was caught via surveillance video, according to police officials, where the attacker is seen repeatedly punching and kicking the victim until she was unconscious. After the victim “lay motionless on the ground, the offender stomped on the complainant’s head several times” and grabbed the victim’s purse.
Police have arrested Marcus Jones, a 22-year old homeless male, for the incident. Police say Jones also committed two similar attacks on other individuals the next day: a 61-year-old male and a 48-year-old male.
Jones has been charged with one count of attempted murder; two counts of robbery, aggravated assault, theft-unlawful taking, and theft-receiving stolen property; three counts of simple assault, and recklessly endangering another person.
Deputy Commissioner Kevin Bethel would not comment on the motive behind the attack, but emphasized that it was a “a brutal attack. She is suffering from significant injuries.” He noted that “the motive will ultimately come out, but it was a vicious attack and we need to keep her in our prayers.”
The Police Department did not initially identify the victim as transgender. Bethel explained that the initial press statement did not do so because Philadelphia Police has implemented a new policy on appropriate gender pronoun usage. “She identifies as a black female,” said Bethel, “so we’ll identify her as a black female.”
The D.A.’s office announced via Twitter that bail has been set at $800,000, and a preliminary hearing will be held on September 8th.
More information as it becomes available.
Bail: $800,000 Marcus Jones, accused of brutally beating a transgender woman to the point of unconsciousness 2 days ago. Prelim 9/8, 903 CJC
— Philadelphia DAO (@Philly_DAsOfc) August 20, 2015