Two Atlanta men have been arrested and charged in an assault on two trans women that bystanders recorded and uploaded to the Internet. The Georgia Voice reported that Luther L. Thomas and Frederick L. Missick were arrested on Thursday and Friday of last week and are both currently behind bars.
The two suspects have been charged with disorderly conduct in the attack, which took place on May 20 on a southbound MARTA train. A spokesperson for MARTA — Atlanta’s mass transit authority — said that the charges would be much more severe, but the two victims, Janell Crosby and Tyra Woods, have declined to cooperate with the investigation.
“The simple answer is we don’t have cooperating victims to file more serious assault charges and this is the best we can do, at least right now,” said MARTA’s Lyle Harris to the Voice.
Thomas and Missick are being held in Fulton County Jail on $2,500 bond each.
MARTA CEO Keith T. Parker said in a statement that the transit agency “does not condone and will not tolerate this type of behavior. I can assure you that we’re taking this matter very seriously.”
Cell phone video evidence showed that the two men began to verbally harass Crosby and Woods at around 11:00 p.m. on the night of the 20th. The confrontation rapidly escalated as onlookers cheered the two men on while they jeered and took photos of the two women, then brutally attacked them.
Crosby told the Voice, “Nobody tried to help. They were all standing up on chairs and videotaping. That’s how it ended up on so many [web]sites.”
When Woods tried to help her friend, she was thrown to the floor, beaten, and stripped naked.
Both women have opted to leave Atlanta in the wake of the assault. Woods is staying with family in Ohio and Crosby said she intends to move back to New York City.
“I don’t feel safe here. We don’t get no protection. There are always troublemakers,” she said of Atlanta.
David Ferguson is an editor at Raw Story. He was previously writer and radio producer in Athens, Georgia, hosting two shows for Georgia Public Broadcasting and blogging at Firedoglake.com and elsewhere. He is currently working on a book.
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