Society

Three Arrested In Hatchet Attack On Transgender Woman

| by Kathryn Schroeder

A transgender woman from Charlotte, North Carolina, is recovering after she was attacked in a park.

Ralayzia Taylor, 24, was at Clanton Park around 10:30 a.m. on Nov. 7 when she encountered a group of people.

"They stopped one time, you know, and just looked at me kind of funny, so I already knew maybe I need to move or something," she told WSOC.

Taylor said the group began jogging toward her and she ran. When the group caught up to her in the woods outside the park, they attacked her.

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"I'm in the woods, I couldn't even move, I'm getting all cut up by trees and everything," Taylor said.

She had dropped her phone during the chase and could not call for help.

“They probably just wanted to rob someone that day and then when they found out I was a transgender, it got worse,” Taylor told WBTV.

The police report states that at least one of the attackers had a hatchet.

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Taylor says she was stabbed in the back while she was robbed, and that her attackers yelled homophobic slurs.

"After that third time of that knife being stabbed in my back, I'm just like, 'Oh, I don't think I can do it,'" she said. "I really felt like I was dying slow." 

When the attackers left, she was able to get help and is currently recovering from serious injuries.

Three suspects have been arrested in the case by the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department: 18-year-old Dajion Tanner, 18-year-old Destiny Dagraca and a 15-year-old boy.

The charges against Tanner and Dagraca range from attempted murder to kidnapping.

Taylor considers the attack a hate crime but law enforcement has not categorized it as such because those laws in the state do not apply to gender identity or sexual orientation. Federal hate crime laws do cover those situations.

“I didn’t deserve this at all. I’m not a bad person,” Taylor said.

The FBI is working with the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department on the investigation.

Taylor does not want to see her attackers go free.

“I just want to tell them if they are in jail, they need to live in jail,” she said.

The attack has left Taylor concerned for her safety, but she’s not going to leave the area.

"I just want to tell all the gays and trannies to keep their heads up -- not just blacks, but whites Hispanics -- it doesn’t matter. Just all keep their heads up,” she said.

Sources: WSOC, WBTV via The Charlotte Observer / Photo credit: WSOC

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