By Sunnivie Brydum
Originally published on Advocate.com June 19 2013 1:36 PM ET
The Los Angeles Police Department's Hollywood division is offering a substantial reward for information leading to the arrest of four men allegedly involved in a brutal attack on a transgender woman in Hollywood last month. In hopes of identifying the suspect, the LAPD released video and still images of the assault and assailants.
Vivian Diego, a 22-year-old transgender woman, was walking toward the Metro transit station on Hollywood Boulevard at about 2:30 a.m. on May 31 when a group of four men jumped her and began punching and kicking her, Diego says. Diego spent a week in the hospital after the attack.
CBS's Los Angeles affiliate spoke with Diego, whose mouth is wired shut as she recovers from a broken jaw, shattered cheekbone, and two cracked ribs suffered as a result of the attack.
“Right when they see me, they started being malicious, verbally, abusing me verbally with words,” Diego told the station. Mere minutes later, one man shoved Diego from behind while others began beating her. “I was being kicked on and punched on,” she said. “And then, I wake up in the hospital.”
Police are investigating the attack as a hate crime, and offering a $25,000 reward for anyone with information leading to an arrest. LAPD investigators have set up a special email account for anyone with information to contact them: [email protected]. Anyone with knowledge of the attack can contact LAPD's Hollywood Area Detective Division at (213) 972-2967, or (877) LAPD-24-7 during non-business hours or weekends.
Despite the assault, Diego says she is resilient. "I'm not letting this incident, this attack, stop me from living my life," she told the station. "As you can see, I'm still fabulous. You guys didn't stop no show."
Watch the report with Diego below.