Police have made an arrest in connection with last Saturday's stabbing of a 24-year-old transgender woman, Samantha Hulsey, on a Muni bus in San Francisco's South of Market neighborhood, reports the San Francisco Chronicle. Hulsey survived two stab wounds to the chest; her partner, Rae Raucci, also a trans woman, was not physically harmed in the assault.
Officials detained 54-year-old Brodus Wayne Joynes at the scene of the attack and four days later charged him with, among other counts, attempted murder, assault with a deadly weapon, and false imprisonment. Several of the charges include hate-crime enhancements, alleging that Jones targeted the two women for their gender identities, noted the district attorney's office.
The attack occurred Saturday at 5 p.m., right after Hulsey and Raucci boarded the 49 bus to head home from a dinner date. Hulsey told the Chronicle that as soon as Joynes entered the bus, he approached the couple aggressively, and they noticed he was carrying a three-inch steak knife.
“He started saying a lot of hateful things and messing with us,” Hulsey recalled in an interview with the Chronicle. “He was threatening to hurt us. The way he was behaving leads me to believe he was on some kind of drugs. He was obviously not sober.”
Frightened, the two women soon exited the bus but were pursued by their attacker. He stabbed Hulsey in the upper chest twice. Hulsey held her wound and ran to a nearby McDonald's, where she asked customers and employees to call the police.
“I was afraid I was going to die,” Hulsey said. “I thought I was going to pass out on that floor and never wake up again. It was very traumatic.” She was rushed to the hospital as police apprehended her assailant; doctors found that no vital organs were punctured and were able to close Hulsey's wounds with stitches.
Raucci, who witnessed the attack, told the Chronicle it became clear she and Hulsey were targeted for being trans after, she said, Joynes told the two women that they were "offending" him with their gender identity.
"Transgender people are a part of the society that some people don’t understand, and what they don’t understand, they fear," she told the Chronicle. "It serves to show that violence can show up anywhere."
Joynes pleaded not guilty to all charges during his arraignment. His bail is currently set at $2 million.