Trans Woman Recovering After Physical Assault in Downtown Charleston
CHARLESTON, SC (WTAT-TV) — A 34-year-old transgender woman is recovering after she was attacked last weekend near Deco Nightclub in downtown Charleston.
Just before 2:00 a.m., an officer was flagged down in reference to an injured party outside the Ann Street nightclub.
When the officer arrived, the victim, Kendra Rodriguez Martinez was seen lying on the ground face-down with blood coming from the left side of her head — she was not responding.
The victim’s sister, Vanessa Huerta-Martinez and another witness told the officer an unknown African-American male wearing a blue polo shirt got into a physical altercation with the victim as she was exiting the elevator on the side of the parking garage.
Huerta-Martinez said the assault came after a verbal disturbance on an upper floor of the parking deck. The suspect later kicked her in the stomach, and Kendra Martinez stepped in to defend her sister.
The suspect reportedly punched the victim on the left side of the head using a closed fist, knocking the victim unconscious.
The suspect then took off on foot, running north through the parking garage towards Mary Street.
Martinez was transported to MUSC for treatment and later released.
Crime scene detectives were dispatched to the scene to investigate the incident.
Friends and family members believe the incident was a hate crime because Martinez is a Latin transgender woman. However, Charleston Police PIO, Charles Francis said in an e-mail the incident is being investigated as an aggravated assault because the victim was assaulted only after an attempt to defend her sister.
There is no word on what caused the initial fight. No arrests have been made.