Suspects arrested after attack on transgender woman
For the second time this year, the same transgender woman has reportedly been the target of a hate crime on the streets of San Francisco.
Samantha Hulsey, and her girlfriend Daira Hopwood were the victims of “a transphobic attack,” said Hulsey’s friend Rae Raucci via Facebook.
Raucci, a transgender woman, law student and activist, was with Hulsey on January 3, when Hulsey was stabbed multiple times by a man as they exited a San Francisco Municipal Railway bus in the city’s Civic Center neighborhood.
The most recent attack against Hulsey occurred on Sunday evening, as Hopwood and Hulsey were near the intersection of Eighth and Mission streets in the city’s South of Market neighborhood, Raucci said.
A man and a woman apparently accosted Hulsey and Hopwood, shouting obscenities at them, Raucci said.
The woman threw a cup of hot coffee on them, and the man punched Hulsey in the face, at least twice, according to Raucci.
A passing San Francisco police officer was hailed down and arrested the suspects, Raucci said.
The two victims were taken to the hospital for treatment and Raucci said Hulsey suffered cuts to her face.
San Francisco police said the suspects, Dewayne Edward Kemp, 36, and Rebecca Louise Westover, 42, share a residence in San Francisco.
San Francisco sheriff’s department spokeswoman Kenya Briggs said both suspects remain in custody at the San Francisco County Jail.
Police said the incident occurred in the unit block of Eighth Street and that video surveillance has been collected and is being analyzed.
Officers said at least three witnesses corroborated that the suspects made homophobic comments at the victims.
Kemp was arrested on suspicion of aggravated assault likely to cause great bodily injury, conspiracy, criminal threats, with hate crime enhancements, as well as a parole violation, police said.
Westover was arrested for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon other than a firearm, battery and conspiracy with hate crime enhancements, as well as for being a person convicted of a felony in possession of pepperspray.
Police said it appears this attack was bias motivated against persons from a protected class.
San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee expressed his frustration with the attack and condemned the hatred and intolerance that is believed to have been behind it:
“There is never an excuse for violence in our communities, and while much progress has been made in the last decade to advance transgender rights, anti-transgender violence sadly still exists.”
Lee applauded the San Francisco Police Department’s quick apprehension and arrest of the two suspects in the attack:
“This incident is a stark reminder that greater awareness is needed to end bullying, discrimination and violence against our transgender community.”
The attack occurred during the annual Transgender Awareness Week and just days before Transgender Day of Remembrance, for which Lee has ordered City Hall be lit in blue, pink and white in the colors of the Transgender Flag.
The January attack led to the arrest of San Francisco resident Brodes Wayne Joynes.
Police said that stabbing occurred at Van Ness Avenue between Golden Gate Avenue and Turk Street.
The victims were sitting toward the back of a bus when a man approached them, police said.
Raucci said the man harassed them repeatedly and called the pair derogatory names.
Raucci wrote in January:
“We were both on the bus together when a man across the way accused us both of defrauding him by pretending to be female.”
The pair then decided to get off the bus to get away from him, but the man also got off the bus brandishing a knife, Raucci wrote.
Raucci said that the man then stabbed Hulsey twice in the upper chest.
Hulsey was transported to San Francisco General Hospital with stab wounds, where she received 10 stitches, according to Raucci.
Joynes was arrested at the scene following the attack and was booked into jail on an outstanding warrant, two counts of aggravated assault and two counts of criminal threats with a hate crime enhancement, according to MacDonald.
San Francisco District Attorney’s Office spokesman Max Szabo said back in January that Joynes is facing charges of attempted murder, assault with a deadly weapon, battery with serious bodily injury, two counts of criminal threats and false imprisonment, with hate crime enhancement allegations on all charges.
San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon released a statement condemning that first attack, saying:
“A hate crime is not just an attack on the victim, it’s also an attack on our community and the values we embrace as San Franciscans.”
Gascon vowed to prosecute Joynes aggressively.
If convicted of all the charges filed against him, Joynes could be sentenced to life in prison.