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Arrests Made in Brutal Attack on Spokane Trans Woman

Arrests Made in Brutal Attack on Spokane Trans Woman


Two men have been charged in last week's assault on Jacina Carla Scamahorn, as police remain under investigation for allegedly mistreating the victim.

Two men have been arrested in last Friday's assault on trans woman Jacina Carla Scamahorn at a Spokane, Wash., bakery, reports Spokane newspaper The Spokesman-Review.

Adam R. Flippen, 45, and Marc A. Fessler, 42, were arrested Tuesday hours after their images were released to media by police and they were reportedly identified by several local residents. The next day the two appeared in court on charges of malicious harassment, which The Spokesman-Reviewdescribes as "Washington's version of a hate crime." Flippen was also charged with second-degree assault. Both men pleaded not guilty and were released from jail on bond.

The night of Scamahorn's attack, she was sent to the hospital after 10 p.m.with "major damage to the left side of her face," including several broken bones, according to Spokane Human Rights Commission chair Blaine Sturn. Scamahorn sustained the injuries at the hands of two men she says had been drinking at nearby bar Zola, verbally harassed her for being trans and homeless, and then followed her into Boots Bakery. She told The Spokesman-Review she had spit in one of their faces to defend herself.

One bakery employee, John Dandurand, who recognized Scamahorn as a regular customer, witnessed the attack that ensued. He told local TV station KXLY the two men had verbally accosted Scamahorn and shoved her into a booth, yelling about her spitting in their faces. Dandurand said he ran outside to try to find help, then came back inside to find the men beating the woman, yelling slurs, and kicking her in the face at least once.

When police arrived, Scamahorn told The Spokesman-Review, they added insult to injury by being disrespectful and referring to her as a "man" several times, despite protests from the bakery's servers. "Staff tried to correct them, and [the police] basically told them to shut up," she explained.

The police report also indicated that Scamahorn appeared intoxicated and was therefore unable to give a statement, but she and several witnesses denied that she seemed inebriated, but rather was convulsing and vomiting from being beaten. "I wasn't able to talk," she explained to the newspaper. "Fluid was at the back of my throat. I couldn't breathe."

Her attack and the alleged actions of the police prompted 150 impassioned citizens to attend the Spokane City Council meeting Monday night to call for an investigation of the police response. The police department responded Tuesday by launching an investigation into how police responded to Scamahorn's assault, according to spokeswoman Monique Cotton.

Flippen and Fessler have been ordered to not go near Scamahorn, Zola, or Boots, or consume alcohol. Police are still looking for three witnesses to interview who were sitting near Scamahorn while she was attacked.

Anyone with more information regarding the assault is asked to call Spokane County Crime Check at (509) 456-2233.

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