In a brutal anti-gay hate crime on Sunday, a Tacoma woman was stabbed, choked and marked with homophobic slurs. The 45 year-old victim has asked to be referred to only by her first name, Chris.
On Monday, she gave an interview with local news station Kiro:
According to police, around 2:45 a.m. on Sunday morning, Chris was searching for one of her dogs that had gotten out. Passing a man on the 900 block of East 51st Street, she asked if he’d seen a dog run by. When the man asked her to come closer, she repeated herself. He pointed her down an alley, then followed her into it.
“He ran up behind me and he said something like why don’t I sound like a boy, that I look like a boy,” she said. “Are you a dyke?” the man asked. “God hates fags.”
The attacker shoved Chris down, grabbed the dog’s leash from her hand, and wrapped it around her neck. As she kicked and screamed, he stabbed her several times with a pocketknife and used the leash to drag her. “I remember getting really light-headed,” said Chris. “It was choking me.” Stripping away her clothes, the man spit on her and wrote slurs including “dyke” on her left buttock, back, and forehead. He screamed violent homophobic remarks and hate speech throughout the attack, according to detectives.
Chris’ dog, Quinn, returned and began biting and barking at the man. He ran off, and a neighbor who had heard the victim’s screams arrived on the scene.
“She was going in and out of consciousness, saying that, ‘he tried to strangle me, he tried to stab me — he stabbed me,'” said neighbor Desmond Aarons. In an interview with Q13 FOX News, he described the area of the attack as a popular walking spot in between neighborhoods. “I saw little kids walking down this alley the other day,” Aarons said.
Chris was brought to a local hospital and is currently recovering. As of Monday afternoon, she was still unable to remove some of the slurs written on her body. “I haven’t felt safe in my own skin since [the attack],” said Chris. “I don’t know that I ever will again.”
Police are now looking for the attacker, who Chris described as possibly Hispanic, in his 20s, with a noticeably chubby face and neck, wearing a Seahawks hat and dark Seahawks hoodie.
Tacoma’s Rainbow Center will be co-hosting an open forum with community leaders and the Oasis Youth Center on Saturday to discuss how to end hate crime in the community. Organizers say it will provide a safe place to offer support to the victim, engage in healing dialogue and hear from resource providers. Updates from law enforcement are also expected at the time.