Transgender woman calls brutal attack a hate crime, prosecutors remain undecided

Mon. April 25, 2011 3:02 PM by News Staff

brutal attack on transgender woman in maryland

photo credit // amateur video

Video of brutal attack on Chrissy Lee Polis has gone viral, thousands outraged

Baltimore, MD - The viral video of a transgender woman being brutally beaten by two teenage girls at a Maryland McDonald's has shocked thousands and created outrage in the LGBT community.

Police have arrested 18-year-old Teonna Monae Brown and a 14-year-old, who is being charged as a juvenile, in the attack that started in the bathroom of the Baltimore-area McDonald's on April 18.

The suspects realized that Polis is transgender, and can be heard on the tape screaming "that's a man" as they slapped her, punched her, pulled her hair, pushed her to the floor, and drug her around the restaurant. 

Now the victim, 22-year-old Chrissy Lee Polis, is trying to transform this into an opportunity to educate the public about what it's like to be transgender, and is speaking to television and print reporters in the Baltimore area.

Polis calls the attack a hate crime and wants justice for her attackers.

"I went to go use the bathroom.  Come back out, the girl spit in my face, said, `Are you trying to talk to my man?'  I said, `No, I didn't even know that was your man at all.'  The other girl came up, spit in my face, then they started ripping my hair, throwing me on the floor," Polis told the Baltimore Sun.

The attack was videotaped by a McDonald's employee who did nothing to help the victim and then posted the video on the Internet. That employee has been fired. 

Only one McDonald's employee can be seen trying to intervene along with an older female who stepped in.

"If it wasn't for her, I probably would have had the seizure and they probably would have kept on continuing hurting me even more," she said.

Prosecutors are considering filing additional hate charges against Brown and the juvenile suspect. Brown, who was arrested earlier this year for attacking someone else, is currently being held on $150,000 bail.

A Facebook page of support for Chrissy Lee Polis had attracted nearly 2,000 fans by Monday afternoon. 

Related: View the disturbing video of the attack