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Trans woman claims she was attacked at BBQ, others claim self defense

Posted at 9:32 PM, Jun 23, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-24 16:27:27-04

BALTIMORE — Shaun Schroeder said she was excited to head to what she thought would be a fun family cookout.

She said when she introduced herself to a young woman things went downhill.

“I asked her her name and she looked at me with disgust as I was walking away,” Schroeder said. “I didn’t understand it, but I’m familiar with the look, you get what I mean I’m trans so I’m familiar with it.”

She said the woman and her mother confronted her as she was walking away shouting transphobic slurs at her.

“When I stood next to my aunt I’m like help me and she’s like get away from me. At that point they knew I didn’t have anyone with me so they attacked. They attacked me in the yard and as I was trying to make it out of the yard someone a young man hit me in the back of the head with a pole or pipe. I could feel them hitting me and I just couldn’t move.”

She says that was the last thing she remembered before waking up in the hospital the next day. She has a broken leg, had to get staples in her head, fractured ribs and bruises all over her body.

Schroeder tells WMAR-2 News she's pressing charges.

On Wednesday morning Baltimore Police released the incident report, but would not confirm Schroeder was the victim, as the name was redacted in the report.

The incident is currently being classified as an aggravated assault that occurred on the evening of June 21, in the 3300 block of Moravia Road in Northeast Baltimore.

One of the suspect's in the attack was identified as 35-year-old Jessica Irving of Dundalk.

The report says an arrest warrant has since been issued for Irving. It's unclear what charges she's facing and if she was taken into custody.

Police wrote an incident report pretty consistent with what Schroeder shared with us.

Officers say the victim reported losing consciousness, but recalled the suspects yelling "stomp the (expletive slur)."

Police indicated in the report that the weapon used in the assault, may have been a tiki torch.

According to the police report, the victim said they were able to escape after mace on their car key ring went off.

Several other suspects were reportedly involved, but haven't been identified.

Another officer received a call later in relation to the incident. That person named Schroeder and told police they were defending themselves after Schroeder sprayed them with mace.

It's unclear if the person that called is Irving. They say it was Schroeder who first started calling people at the party names.

According to this person's account, Schroeder was asked to leave the party but refused.

Schroeder reportedly said "call me expletive slur one more time," before witnesses said she pulled out mace and threatened to spray everyone.

The person admitted to police it was then when another person at the party took a tiki torch to hit and push Schroeder away.

Eventually Schroeder got into a car and backed out of the driveway, and allegedly drove toward one of the individuals in a nearby alleyway.

Officers said they reviewed a neighbor's surveillance footage which showed Schroeder acting aggressively and going after others.

Charges against Schroeder were also filed. It's unclear if she's since been arrested and on what charges.

“I’m a happy person and for people out there that this has happened to seek counseling, talk to someone, share your story," said Schroeder.

Serving as an advocate with groups like Baltimore Safe Haven, Schroeder's version of the attack made her think about all the trans people who were killed in the U.S. this year.

RELATED: Baltimore Safe Haven giving hope to LGBTQ community

At least 16 victims - including Johanna Metzger who was killed in Baltimore in April.

“Is this how they felt in the moments before they were killed? We see this so many times and it’s happened recently it’s crazy. I just couldn’t believe it happened to me. I thought why, am I about to die here? Is this going to be the last time looking at the human race?”

She said she's not giving up and will continue to fight so other people don’t feel this pain.

“I don’t think other people look at us as we’re humans, but we’re here and we’re not going anywhere. We will rise.”

Aside from Schroeder and Irving, police haven't released the names of anyone else involved.