An 18-year-old Washington, D.C., man has been charged with intentionally running down a 26-year-old transgender woman with his car on July 5, the Washington Post reported. Police said it’s not yet clear whether the attack was a hate crime, but they haven’t ruled out the possibility.
The victim remains hospitalized in “critical but stable” condition, Acting Capt. Anthony Haythe of the Metropolitan Police Department’s homicide branch told reporters during a Wednesday night news conference, the Post reported.
The suspect, Startwaune Anderson, has been charged with aggravated assault while armed, local outlet WTOP reported on Thursday.
“We believe the vehicle was used as a weapon,” Haythe told reporters, according to the Post.
The incident reportedly took place in the early hours of July 5, shortly after the victim had left a club, according to WTOP.
Police said it wasn’t yet clear if the victim and the suspect knew each other, the Post reported.
One of the victim’s friends told NBC Washington on Monday that, shortly before she was hit by a car, she was approached by two men in a “dark hatchback.” One of the men wanted the victim’s phone number, the friend said, but she turned him down.
Transgender people face a disproportionate amount of violence in the U.S. A 2015 survey by the National Center for Transgender Equality found that 9% of respondents — nearly one-in-ten — were physically attacked over the year before because of their gender identity.
Adriana Carter, a close friend of the victim, told the Post on Wednesday that the victim is currently only able to communicate by blinking.
“She’s breathing better. It has been a very tough six days,” Carter said.