Shocking video of transgender woman brutally beaten at Maryland McDonald's goes viral

Sun. April 24, 2011 6:08 AM by News Staff

brutal attack on transgender woman in maryland

photo credit // amateur video

McDonald’s fires employee who videotaped the incident, while doing little to help victim

Baltimore, MD - The shocking video of a transgender woman being beaten at a Maryland McDonald's, while employees watch, has gone viral.

Baltimore police are investigating the attack that happened on April 18 when the woman got into a confrontation with two female patrons and refused to leave the women's restroom.

According to, police identify the victim as 22-year-old Chrissy Lee Polis. Equality Maryland, an LGBT civil rights advocacy group, say the victim is a trangender woman.

"No person ever deserves to be a victim of violence regardless of their gender identity or presentation," Equality Maryland Board President, Chuck Butler, said in a released statement. "We encourage the State's Attorney General to investigate this as a hate crime based on gender identity."

In the 3 minute video captured by 22-year-old Vernon Hackett, a McDonald's employee, the two women relentlessly beat the woman as at least one McDonald's employee yells for them to stop.

"I knew they were taping me; I told the guy to stop," Polis told the Baltimore Sun. "They didn't help me. They didn't do nothing for me."

Polis is repeatedly kicked and punched until she has a seizure, at which point someone warns the female attackers to flee because the police are on the way. She believes race may have also been a factor in her attack. According to police both assailants were black.

The video of the beating has garnered hundreds of thousands of views on the Internet and Polis says seeing herself all over the Internet is "like walking out of The Closet all over again."

In a Facebook posting, Hackett claimed, "that was not a female that was getting beat up... that was a man... He was dressed lik [sic] a woman."

By Friday Hackett, responding to the large number of Facebook users who wrote him in anger over his statements and the fact that he did little to help the victim, said, "No Hate For Anybody... No Matter Tha [sic] Gender/Race Or Sexual Preference."

Hackett was fired on Friday and his Facebook page has been deleted.

McDonald's on Friday released a statement regarding the beating, saying, "We are shocked by the video from a Baltimore franchised restaurant showing an assault. This incident is unacceptable, disturbing and troubling."

A 14-year-old girl has been charged as a juvenile in the attack and charges are pending against an 18-year-old-woman.

Warning: The video is violent and could be disturbing to some viewers.