Residents of Casa Ruby, a LGBT youth community center and shelter in Washington, D.C., were preparing to turn on a movie on Sunday afternoon to distract themselves from the cold late-winter day.
But before they could settle down in their warm, safe space, a visitor stood up, assaulted a staff member, threw a brick, shattered the glass door, and threatened to return to kill someone.
It came out of nowhere.
--Anthony Killinger, Casa Ruby resident
Killinger said the assailant was an occasional visitor at the center.
Though this is not the first time he has displayed signs of anger, residents were still surprised when he suddenly became enraged and started yelling at a staff member, verbally and physically assaulting her.
He was literally pushing up against her.
Surveillance video shows the attacker picking up an object, which Killinger said was a bar of soap, and throwing it across the room. As residents and staff tried to push him out to the street, he kicked in the front door, breaking the wood frame. He also threw a brick through the door two times, shattering both panes of the glass and almost hitting a client.
Ruby Corado, a refugee from El Salvador, founded the shelter in 2015.
This is what hate looks like.
The door is not yet repaired, but it is still open, as always.
Yesterday a brick flew across the room. Today, who knows?
It makes me angry. It’s very disconcerting that you have people out here that continuously want to break up or destroy a safe space.
More and more things are progressing to a violent level. Unfortunately, we get promises made that we’re going to be looked after and taken care of, and that doesn’t happen.
--Mally Hatcher, director of youth services
These are my girls, these are my people, this is my family, and I’m going to try to keep everybody safe. I’m not afraid.
For some residents, the incident reminds them that they can never feel entirely safe in a society where many people — including the current presidential administration — are still hostile to their existence.
“You gotta be blessed when you walk outside, because you never know what’s going to happen. You never know when it could be you.
--A'nne Johnson, transgender resident
We learn this morning that Andrew Cook of Southeast DC has been arrested and charged with felony destruction of property, simple assault, and threatening to kidnap or injure a person.
The police report recounts the incident:
The suspect walked into Casa Ruby on Sunday afternoon and a verbal altercation ensued with an employee of the non profit, according to the Metropolitan Police Department report. The altercation turned violent when the suspect approached the employee and hit her in the forehead with his pointer finger. Then, the suspect picked up a bar of soap and threw it at her. He left, but not before throwing a brick through the front door and kicking it.
On his way out, he said, "I'll kill your motherf*cking *ss. Ya'll tranny motherf*ckers think somebody won't f*ck ya'll up.