Dallas police have arrested a man in connection with the beating of a transgender woman in the parking lot of an east Oak Cliff apartment complex.
Police say Edward Thomas, 29, was involved in a minor traffic accident with Muhlaysia Booker between 5 and 6 p.m. Friday in the parking lot of Royal Crest Apartments, 3558 Wilhurt Ave. The two argued about the accident, and Thomas began beating Booker, police said. Others joined in the beating, using homophobic slurs.
Witnesses took Booker to UT Southwestern Medical Center to be treated for her injuries.
Officers arrested Thomas at about 9:30 p.m. Sunday, police reported. He was booked into the Dallas County jail at 11 p.m. Sunday. He remained in jail Monday morning, county records show. The case is being flagged as a hate crime.
Apparent cellphone video posted to Facebook shows a crowd gathering as a man and a woman argue. The argument quickly turns physical. The woman falls to the ground and the man sits atop her, punching her with his fists as she tries to shield her face with her arms.
In a statement issued Saturday, Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings said Dallas Police Chief U. Renee Hall alerted him to the assault.
"I am extremely angry about what appears to be mob violence against this woman," Rawlings said. "I am in contact with the chief and she assured me that the Dallas Police Department is fully investigating, including the possibility that this was a hate crime. Those who did this do not represent how Dallasites feel about our thriving LGBTQ community. We will not stand for this kind of behavior."
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