Transgender person attacked on eve of Seattle Pride weekend
Jun 24, 2016, 1:30 PM | Updated: 6:25 pm
A transgender person was attacked on Capitol Hill after attending a fundraiser in the wake of the Orlando mass shooting. The attacker yelled, “Happy Pride,” before assaulting the person.
“I’m disgusted by this hateful attack,” said Seattle Police Chief Kathleen O’Toole. “I want to assure the victim and the community that the SPD will leverage every resource to identify the suspect and bring him to justice.”
The transgender person — identified as Michael Volz through a GoFundMe page — was walking to their car around 11:30 p.m. Wednesday. They just left a fundraiser for the Orlando tragedy at Neumos, a Capitol Hill venue. The assailant approached Volz near 11th Avenue and East Pike Street, yelled “Hey, Happy Pride,” then punched Volz in the face. The assailant proceeded to choke Volz while continuing his attack, yelling transgender slurs throughout the incident. Volz lost consciousness.
The attacker is described as a white man, 20s, brown hair with partial beard. He was wearing an orange shirt, blue jeans and sandals.
The attacker was gone when Volz regained consciousness. Volz was able to walk to their car, and drive home where they called a friend who took them to the hospital. They called 911 to report the crime.
An online fundraiser has been started for Volz. It has already reached its $15,000 goal.
Seattle Mayor Ed Murray called the attack “deplorable,” and said the incident was meant to cause fear around the upcoming weekend’s Pride events.
“Make no mistake, this attack and all others like it are the result of hateful language that stigmatizes and alienates groups of people because of who they are, whether they are immigrants or Muslims or LGBTQ people,” Murray said. “Despite all of our best efforts as a city, as long as there is a place for hateful language in our communities, our communities will not be safe places for those who are the targets of this hateful language.”
Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call the Seattle Police Department’s tip line at 206-233-5000. Seattle detectives are investigating the crime, and the FBI has been called for assistance.