Philadelphia Police have arrested a 25-year old homeless man accused of attacking a transgender woman while yelling anti-gay slurs in an assault captured on Facebook Live.
Ryannah Quigley, 23, of Seattle, Washington, told NBC10 she was attending the Creating Change conference in Philadelphia. Quigley said she was walking along the 1300 block of Filbert Street in Center City at 4:40 p.m. Friday with two of her friends when an unidentified man began staring at her. She greeted the man, but he continued to stare at her.
"I said, 'Is there a reason why you're staring at me up and down?' And he stopped and turned and looked and he said, 'Whatever bro.' So that's when I said, 'Please don't call me bro,'" Quigley said.
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Quigley said the man then started shouting at her and yelling anti-gay slurs.
"He just kept telling me, 'You're a f-----,' and 'You're going to hell.' Then he kept saying, 'You'll never be a real woman,'" Quigley said.
Quigley told NBC10 she then took out her phone and began recording the encounter on Facebook Live. That’s when she says the man threw a bag of food at her and then punched her in the face before running away.
She reported the incident to Philadelphia Police. On Sunday morning, officers saw a man standing in the Frankford Terminal, wearing the same clothes that the suspect in the Facebook Live attack had on. He was arrested and will be charged for the assault, police said.
Quigley said she suffered cuts and a bruise but is doing okay. Quigley told NBC10 she’s been the victim of violence before. She was attacked by a group of people a few years ago.
"Often times we are not believed," Quigley said. "We are often looked at as the problem. Because as trans women people assume that, 'Oh, you must have been hitting on him.'"
Quigley's friend Keyonna Fowler witnessed the incident and said the suspects comments were "horrible."
"Just because a trans woman speaks to you does not mean that she wants you," Fowler said.
Quigley said the video of the attack was later taken down by Facebook administrators who claimed it violated their terms of service. Quigley also claimed she was blocked from accessing her Facebook account. Her friends and supporters have posted updates on her recovery to her page for her.
"Transgender individuals, they are people," Quigley said. "They are living and they will continue to be here."