Friend of transgender woman assaulted on Capitol Hill: "It's destroyed us a bit"

Chris Ferrentino said his friend was assaulted by 3 men early Sunday morning at a restaurant on Seattle's Capitol Hill. The victim is a transgender woman. (KOMO Photo)

SEATTLE -- Seattle police are trying to identify three men after a transgender woman was assaulted at a restaurant on Capitol Hill.

The assault happened early Sunday morning inside Rancho Bravo on East Pine Street, the victim reported to officers. The assault her bruised and in stitches.

"It was my birthday last week, so she wanted to take me out," said close friend Chris Ferrentino, who was with the victim at the time of the assault.

Ferrentino said the night started as celebratory. It turned into one of the worst of his life shortly after he and his friend arrived at the restaurant.

They ordered some food and sat down, he said.

His friend, who is a transgender woman, soon noticed some guys were taking photos of her on a cell phone for no reason and questioning her gender.

"And she politely asked them not to. And then it just escalated," Ferrentino said.

The victim told officers she confronted the men and they exchanged words, according to the police report.

The next thing Ferrentino knew, one of the men punched his friend so hard in the face that she fell to the ground, he said.

"There was blood all over me, all over the floor, the tables, and they continued to start kicking her. And I tried to fend them off," Ferrentino said. "And it was to the point where she had to pretend to be passed out in order for it to stop."

The men bolted, got into a large white SUV, and drove east on Pine Street, Ferrentino said.

Ferrentino's friend suffered several cuts to her face, a swollen eye, and had to get stitches at the hospital, he said.

"It's very emotional. And it's incredibly emotional for me, too, for somebody that I love and care about. And it's destroyed us a bit," Ferrentino said.

Ferrentino said the attack has prompted his friend to question herself and even made her scared to leave her own home.

Both of them have missed some work, he said.

Ferrentino believes the 3 men who assaulted his friend should pay for what they did.

"I just think they're awful human beings, and I just think they needed to be outed and caught for their disgusting behavior. So, it's really sad," he said. "We never think something’s going to happen until it does. So, that’s why I think people need to be outraged by this and I am, too. And people need to not be silent."

Seattle police have referred the case to the department's bias crimes unit, a spokesman told KOMO News. The investigation is active and on-going, he said. If anyone has information about the case, they should call the Seattle Police Department's violent crimes unit at (206) 684-5550.

The owner of Rancho Bravo issued a statement to KOMO News about what happened.

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