baltimoresun.com

« Downtown shootings linked, city police say | Main | McDonald's suspect was accused of assault at same restaurant last year »

April 25, 2011

Woman who tried to stop McDonald's assault identified

The Sun's Nick Madigan reports:

Baltimore County police on Monday released additional details of an attack last week on a transgender woman in a fast-food restaurant, during which another woman, they said, was assaulted after attempting to intervene.

The incident prompted widespread condemnation after a video, captured by an employee of the McDonald’s at which it occurred, went viral on the Internet. Two females, one 14 years old, the other 18, have been charged in the attack.

The woman who intervened, Vicky L. Thoms, “attempted to separate the suspects” from the 22-year-old transgender woman, Chrissy Lee Polis, according to a court document that provides details of the attack.  Thoms is seen above in a picture by The Sun's Erica L. Green. Details from her interview are coming soon.

Darick Jones, the restaurant’s manager, told police that he saw Thoms being punched in the face, “which caused her to become disoriented.” The suspects then pushed Thoms away while the attack on Polis continued, the document said.

Polis then “fell to the ground after struggling to fend off the suspects and the two suspects fled the area,” according to the document.

More details:

Interviewed by the police, Thoms confirmed she was punched in the face during the melee, which apparently erupted after Polis had attempted to use the women’s bathroom. The police officer, identified only as Sgt. George, observed that Thoms had “redness around her right eye, which is consistent with someone punching her in the face.”

The older suspect, Teonna Monae Brown, who lives on the 2000 block of Kelbourne Road in Rosedale, was arrested Friday and charged with first-degree assault, which is classified as a felony, and two counts of second-degree assault, which are misdemeanors. She was incarcerated at the Baltimore County Detention Center in lieu of $150,000 bail.

The 14-year-old was charged as a juvenile. She was interviewed by police after being identified in the video, and acknowledged she had been in the restaurant with Brown and that they had gotten “into a fight with a woman over using the bathroom.”

Police also interviewed Deshawn Brown, the sister of the older suspect. She said her sister had admitted assaulting a woman at the McDonald’s at 6315 Kenwood Ave.

A rally was planned for 7 p.m. Monday at the restaurant to raise awareness of hate crimes, according to civil-rights activists and other organizers of the event.

The video of the assault in the restaurant April 18 prompted hundreds of thousands of views on various websites. The video shows Polis being kicked and punched in the head by two people until she appears to have a seizure. Although two people tried to intervene, others can be seen standing and watching, and some are laughing.

Posted by Peter Hermann at 12:51 PM | | Comments (16)
        

Comments

This woman deserves a new car or something. Not many people would have been willing to try to intervene in such a horrifying scene out of fear for their own safety.

First of all, this was not a fight. This was a savage beating inflicted by two attackers on someone who was no longer attempting to defend herself and an inexcusable assault on an elderly good Samaritan. Further, kicking someone's head repeatedly is not an assault. It's attempted murder.

That being said, thank you, Ms. Thorns, for being the only decent human being in the Rosedale McDonald's that night. Without your intervention, things would have ended very differently. It's very clear that if you had not intervened the attackers would have either slammed Ms. Polis's head in the door or dragged her out into the parking lot and beaten her to death. Kicking her in the head repeatedly shows that they were trying to kill her, not assault her.

Your courage puts everyone else in that restaurant to shame. The fact that you were allowed to be punched in the face without interference makes everyone there look even worse, if that is possible.

It's a shame that you were forced to act because of the shocking inaction of management. If the attackers had been escorted out or if the victim had been isolated in an office or one of the bathrooms until police arrived none of this would have happened. Simply locking the doors behind the attackers when they left the first time would have prevented your injury and the further beating of Ms. Polis.

The worst part of this story is that the 18 year old had previously been arrested for assaults committed in that same Rosedale, MD McDonald's. She should never have been allowed into that restaurant in the first place. Allowing her to enter the restaurant that evening put everyone inside in danger of exactly what happened.

I only hope that justice is done and that you have a very good attorney who will make sure that you receive compensation for your injuries and for your bravery.

I saw the video and was outraged that no one helped her out. If I was there, I would've helped her out, transgendered or not. That's not cool.

First of all, this was not a fight. This was a savage beating inflicted by two attackers on someone who was no longer attempting to defend herself and an inexcusable assault on an elderly good Samaritan. Further, kicking someone's head repeatedly is not an assault. It's attempted murder.

That being said, thank you, Ms. Thorns, for being the only decent human being in the Rosedale McDonald's that night. Without your intervention, things would have ended very differently. It's very clear that if you had not intervened the attackers would have either slammed Ms. Polis's head in the door or dragged her out into the parking lot and beaten her to death. Kicking her in the head repeatedly shows that they were trying to kill her, not assault her.

Your courage puts everyone else in that restaurant to shame. The fact that you were allowed to be punched in the face without interference makes everyone there look even worse, if that is possible.

It's a shame that you were forced to act because of the shocking inaction of management. If the attackers had been escorted out or if the victim had been isolated in an office or one of the bathrooms until police arrived none of this would have happened. Simply locking the doors behind the attackers when they left the first time would have prevented your injury and the further beating of Ms. Polis.

The worst part of this story is that the 18 year old had previously been arrested for assaults committed in that same Rosedale, MD McDonald's. She should never have been allowed into that restaurant in the first place. Allowing her to enter the restaurant that evening put everyone inside in danger of exactly what happened.

I only hope that justice is done and that you have a very good attorney who will make sure that you receive compensation for your injuries and for your bravery.

Thank you, Ms. Thorns.
Shame on all the people present and do nothing.
Was not a fight, was a massacre.
The two women should get in jail.

VENEZUELA

Welcome to Baltimore.. Hon..

It sure does hurt to know that this is the type of thing Baltimore City is known for. Our city keeps telling us that crime is down, I don't agree.

What happened in that McDonald's was attempted murder, and that is what both of the attackers should be charged with. The 14 year old should be tried as an adult.

This was attempted murder, not assault.

A car?? This woman deserves a medal of honor as well as a truckload of cash from McDonald's!

I saw the video and I was completely shocked by the violence of it. What immense courage it took for that woman to get in the middle and try to stop it. She was somewhat effective to at first but those ANIMALS kept going at it. This incident was disgusting. I hope Ms. Thoms gets the recognition and accolades she deserves! You are truly a hero!!

The man was in a female public bathroom and freaked the girls out. What , can I go pee in a lady's bathroom because I identify as a woman. I guess next we will have to allow blind people who identify as "seeing people," to fly airliners. Some body has got to draw the line some where. If your born a man, your a man no matter what shade of lipstick you wear or what you chop off or grow. It's that simple, period. Nobody said life is fair.

So, it was a guy trying to go into the female restroom? Seems to me a little attitude adjustment was in order.

@Claudia - Are you going to give a sex-check to every single woman using the restroom? And what are you going to do when a "woman" who has had a sex-change and is now a man shows up? By YOUR definition, this person with a beard, men's clothing on, etc. should use the women's restroom because he was born a woman.

Incidentally, I've been to clubs and such where women's bathrooms have had full lines and so the women went into the men's bathroom. You going to be the bathroom police to make sure they don't do that?

It's a bathroom, people. There's no justification for this attack.

Stand by and watch someone severely beaten and call 911, what a joke!! Question, why am I reading about all of these attacks, Black people in groups jumping white people and severely beating them!! and its not being classified as a hate crime! Wake up white people, make a stand and put a stop to this or it will only escalate! Stop being victims.Protect your self and others, handle your business! By the way I have black friends that are human! For the black people that are offended "Deal With It its a fact !!! Keep messing with a sleeping giant and one day we will stop putting up with this BS!

The bigotry I am reading in these comments downright frightens me. I understand that some of you do not understand what it is like to be transsexual, why would you if your not? I also understand that some of you refuse to believe gender dysphoria and intersexed are the genuine medical conditions that they are. It is your choice to hold onto that ignorance and belligerently ignore truth and reality. Nature loves diversity. Society hates diversity. The two girls who committed this hate crime resigned themselves from humanity. Many of these comments reveal that others have also resigned themselves from humanity. You are no better than those two girls who committed this terrible act of violence.

This web site is a leftist liberal propaganda site that does not post comments.

so much for "DIVERSITY."

Liberalism is the belief in the importance of freedom and equal rights. Clearly some of you do not believe either is very important. That’s fine. It is not my place to try to adjust your belief systems. However, this country was founded on those very beliefs. When you talk down about freedom like that, you are spitting on the graves of those who gave all to ensure we can live free.

Post a comment

All comments must be approved by the blog author. Please do not resubmit comments if they do not immediately appear. You are not required to use your full name when posting, but you should use a real e-mail address. Comments may be republished in print, but we will not publish your e-mail address. Our full Terms of Service are available here.

Verification (needed to reduce spam):

About Peter Hermann
Peter Hermann started covering news for The Baltimore Sun in 1990, first in Anne Arundel County and, starting in 1994, reporting on the Baltimore Police Department. In 2001, he was assigned to Jerusalem as the Baltimore Sun's Middle East correspondent. He returned in 2005 as an assistant city editor overseeing crime coverage. In 2008, Peter returned to the beat as a daily reporter and blogger. A recent BBC report featured him in a segment on the harsh realities of covering crime in Baltimore.

Coverage will focus on crime trends, problems in neighborhoods in the city and elsewhere, profiles of victims and police officers and try to offer readers a fresh perspective on one of the most vexing issues facing Baltimore and its future.



Contributing to this blog is Justin Fenton, who joined The Sun in 2005 and has covered the Baltimore City Police Department and the criminal justice system since 2008. His work includes an investigation into Cal Ripken Jr.’s minor league baseball stadium deal with his hometown of Aberdeen, a three-part series chronicling a ruthless con woman, coverage of the killing of five Amish children at a schoolhouse in Nickel Mines, Pa., and a job swap with a British crime reporter to explore differences in crime-fighting. A special report looking into how city police handle rape cases led to sweeping reforms that changed the way sexual assaults are investigated in Baltimore. He was recognized as the best reporter in Baltimore by the City Paper in 2010 and by Baltimore Magazine in 2011.
-- ADVERTISEMENT --

In the news

Sign up for FREE local news alerts
Get free Sun alerts sent to your mobile phone.*
Get free Baltimore Sun mobile alerts
Sign up for local news text alerts

Returning user? Update preferences.
Sign up for more Sun text alerts
*Standard message and data rates apply. Click here for Frequently Asked Questions.
  • Breaking News newsletter
When a big news event breaks, we'll e-mail you the basics with links to up-to-date details.
Sign up

Charm City Current
Stay connected