Crime

Drag performers victims of assault in downtown Olympia

An assault that members of the LGBT community are calling a hate crime occurred just after midnight Sunday, Sept. 3, 2016, in downtown Olympia.
An assault that members of the LGBT community are calling a hate crime occurred just after midnight Sunday, Sept. 3, 2016, in downtown Olympia. sbloom@theolympian.com

An assault that members of the LGBT community are calling a hate crime occurred just after midnight Sunday in downtown Olympia.

“There was a disturbance outside a bar, with 10 to 13 people involved,” said Olympia Police Department spokesman Lt. Paul Lower, who said police have categorized it so far as an assault, and not a hate crime, but the investigation is continuing.

A shouting match became physical, he said. “Sounds like a wild one for a bit.”

Anna Schlect, co-chairwoman of Capital City Pride, said a group of performers was leaving a drag show at 12:30 a.m. when they were heckled by a group of people on the sidewalk. A woman was grabbed and her wife was beaten. Injuries include a concussion and broken teeth, Schlect said.

There are no suspects, Lower said, and descriptions of suspects are varied. He encouraged anyone with information to call the Olympia Police Department at 360-753-8300.

“We at Capital City Pride are gravely concerned about hate crimes that make our city unsafe for LGBTQ people,” Schlect said, adding the group was “deeply concerned” when an African American man and his companion were stabbed Aug. 16 in the same part of town.

“Efforts are underway to raise money for the victim’s recovery,” Schlect said. The Capital City Pride Facebook page was posting updates.

“There is also discussion of reviving Q-Patrol, a volunteer group to provide visible support and offer escort to those who may feel unsafe,” she said.

The original Q-Safety Patrol was formed in 1991 and trained by the New York City-based Guardian Angels and adopted their signature berets, she said.

Jerre Redecker: 360-754-5422, @jredecker

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