Authorities arrested 18-year-old Startwaune Anderson in DC on Monday, for allegedly intentionally running down a transgender woman on July 5 in his compact car.
The Washington Post reports that police built a case against Anderson with surveillance video and witness statements. According to witnesses, Anderson and the woman appeared to speak to one another before the incident, though it’s not clear what about. The vehicular assault took place at about three in the morning on 400 block of K Street NE, near what is apparently known as a community hang out area for young transgender people.
At a press conference on Wednesday, Capt. Anthony Haythe said, “We cannot definitively say at this point that it was a hate crime. But we have not ruled that out and we are still investigating.” More details of the case will be revealed after Anderson’s first court appearance.
The victim is in stable, but critical condition. She has only been able to communicate the last week by blinking her eyes, and remains in the hospital. Friends worry about her long-term recovery. Ruby Corado, founder of LGBT organization Casa Ruby where the victim has volunteered for several years, says she is certain the crime was based on discrimination.
“We’re targets. Every summer we face violence right here in our own homes,” Corado said. “What we do know is someone is getting justice today, and that is the most important thing for us, given we still have to walk and live in this city.”