The Los Angeles County district attorney's office has filed charges against two men in connection with an assault on three transgender women August 17.
Joslyn Flawless, Eden the Doll, and Jaslene Whiterose were attacked on Hollywood Boulevard in Los Angeles while waiting for an Uber early that day. A man had stolen Eden's phone, and the three women pursued him. He then threatened Flawless with a crowbar, demanded that she remove her shoes and bracelet, made anti-transgender remarks, and said he was going to kill her, the women told The Advocate.
The man also hit Whiterose over the head with a glass bottle, and her bag was stolen as well, the women said. A different man who'd obtained Eden's phone demanded her bag in exchange for it. All the while, a crowd gathered and insulted the women.
The D.A.'s office announced Tuesday that Carlton Alexander Callaway, 29, of Compton, has been charged with one felony count each of grand theft from the person of another, second-degree robbery, criminal threats, attempted second-degree robbery, assault by means of force likely to produce great bodily injury, and battery with serious bodily injury. Davion Anthony Williams, 22, of Compton, faces one felony count each of grand theft and assault with a deadly weapon -- a rideshare scooter. Whiterose had said a scooter was thrown at her. The charges include a hate-crime enhancement.
Police had arrested a third man, Willie Walker, 42, who is homeless, two days after the attack. They accused him of extortion, but a law enforcement official "said Walker's actions failed to meet the threshold of a crime, as he did not try to use 'force or fear' against the women, but offered only to recover their property in exchange for money," the Los Angeles Times reports.
As of Tuesday afternoon, Callaway and Williams were not in custody, but officials were in contact with their attorneys in hopes of arranging their surrender, the Times reports. Callaway had been arrested in Bakersfield shortly after the attack but was released as the investigation continued. Michael Curls, Callaway's attorney, Tuesday questioned the hate-crime charge, telling the paper the anti-trans insults came from the crowd, not his client.
The attack drew widespread attention through social media, as the women all have large Instagram followings. Eden had posted a recording of a conversation she had with a Los Angeles police detective who criticized the handling of the case, including Callaway's release.
The Los Angeles Police Department's Robbery-Homicide Division is continuing to investigate, and the district attorney's office has assigned Deputy District Attorney Richard Ceballos of the Hate Crimes Unit as prosecutor. A court date has not been set.