Police are seeking four suspects in a possible hate crime, in which a transgender woman was assaulted in the West University neighborhood of Eugene, Oregon, home to the University of Oregon.
Police responded to a private residence around 10:15 p.m. on Oct. 3, where a transgender woman reported that she had been attacked while walking home from a downtown business near the intersection of East 12th Avenue and Patterson Alley, a Eugene Police Department spokesperson told The Register-Guard.
The woman, who is in her 50s, was later taken to a hospital and treated for injuries sustained during the attack.
Police are now seeking four white males, one of whom committed the assault while others looked on and cheered, in the assault. The victim told police that all four hurled anti-gay and transphobic slurs at her and made comments disparaging her gender identity during the course of the attack.
Officers searched the area around where the attack took place, but were unable to locate the suspects.
Two of the suspects are described as wearing green baseball hats, with one having brown curly hair, and another wearing a gray shirt. They are believed to be around 5 feet, 6 inches tall, according to a spokesperson for the Eugene Police Department.
Anyone with information on possible suspects can contact Eugene Police at 541-682-5111 and reference case 22-14951.
In 2019, Oregon adopted a law making it a felony to assault someone because of their perceived sexual orientation or gender identity, as well as a number of other protected characteristics, including race, ethnicity, or disability. Because Eugene police have confirmed that the assault of the transgender woman is being investigated as a bias crime, if caught, the four men — even those who were simply accomplices of the man who attacked the woman — could be charged under that law, which can carry extra time in prison or stiffer penalties if convicted.
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