kali9 / iStockFrom KARMA ALLEN, ABC News
(LOS ANGELES) – Police arrested two suspects in connection with a hate crime against three transgender women on Hollywood Boulevard in Los Angeles on Thursday.
The violent incident was videotaped on Monday. A man shouted derogatory insults, allegedly robbed her and attacked a woman with a bottle. Others in the video watched, joked about the attack, and filmed it. The department described the prime suspect as a Hollywood area homeless person whom police officers recognized from previous encounters.
A third suspect has yet to be arrested, the police said.
The department released a video of the incident showing the man's face, but later removed the video due to its disturbing nature. Instead, officials posted screenshots from the video highlighting the suspect in hopes of tracking him down.
Sources aware of the investigation told ABC News Wednesday that the division had the suspect's identity and was working to locate him. Social media users on Instagram and Twitter also gave tips on the man's identity.
The victims said the man first came up to them in a store and offered them to buy some items, but then refused to pay.
They said the same man later returned and approached one of them.
"He held a crowbar in my face and threatened to kill me unless I took off my shoes and gave him my jewelry and all of my processions," wrote Joslyn Allen, one of the three transgender women affected, on an Instagram -Post.
"He said if I were trans he would kill me," wrote Allen. "Then he made me hold his hand while looking for my friends to kill for being trans."
Police said the suspect led Allen away and they walked a short distance before she could break free.
When she escaped, Allen said the suspect clamped her friend Jaslene Busanet with a bottle, threw her to the ground, and then made derogatory remarks about her. The other victims said their wallets, cell phones and money had been stolen.
"I just fell to the ground," Busanet told the KABC ABC station in Los Angeles. "There were men who said, 'Oh, she's dead' and laughed at me."
Allen said others had gathered and shouted anti-transgender arcs.
"Meanwhile, men and women are screaming that I'm a man and telling him to hit me," she posted on Instagram. “Please help us find it. SORRY."
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The group said viewers watched and recorded for more than five minutes when they asked for someone to call 911.
The attack comes amid growing concerns from advocates of LGBTQ rights who have accused US law enforcement agencies of being negligent in crimes against transgender victims.
So far, in 2020, at least 26 transgender or sexually abusive people have been killed in the US, with colored transgender women making up the majority of those victims, according to the human rights campaign.
The group reported 25 murders in 2019 and 29 in 2018, the most ever recorded in a year.
ABC News' Robert Zepeda, Matt Gutman and Alex Stone contributed to this report.
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