A 15-year-old black teenaged girl has been arrested for the Nov. 22, 2015, violent assault and robbery of a gay man and his partner on board a Green Line Metro train in Washington, DC shortly after 1 a.m. on Nov. 22, 2015
Calvin Lawrence and his partner, Joseph Coward, became the target of as many as a dozen teenagers on the train car after Cowart tried to stop one of the teens — a young woman — from assaulting and robbing a 14-year-old boy. “By the time I got to him the girl had pounded him in the head,”
According to police, the girl started by mocking Cowart’s disability – he had a stroke – called him slurs and started the beat down.
Calvin Lawrence recounted how the girl attacked Cowart. All of a sudden out of nowhere 12 teenagers had him down on the ground kicking him in the head, stomping him in the chest,” said Lawrence. “I threw myself into the middle of it,” he said. “I tried to get him up and they stole his iPad and iPhone and all of that.” Lawrence said he, too, was assaulted during the altercation before he managed to pull Cowart away from the melee and the two fled to another train car.
“Police allege that the girl is the person responsible for first mocking, and then violently kicking and punching an adult male victim who attempted to intervene on behalf of the 14-year-old,” the Metro statement says.
Lawrence said at least one of the attackers called Cowart an anti-gay name at the time Cowart was being punched and kicked by multiple assailants. Metro police did not initially list the incident as a hate crime but a Metro spokesperson said police and prosecutors would revisit that question after an arrest was made.
“The more egregious part was the physical act of them mocking him about his disability,” Lawrence, his partner said. “Both are egregious to me. It needs to be called a hate crime because I heard those words myself.”
Joseph Cowart was taken to Howard University Hospital after Metro police arrived on the scene at the Shaw-Howard station on the night of the incident. Lawrence said Cowart continues to undergo physical therapy for the injuries he sustained in the attack. Under D.C.’s juvenile justice laws, the identity of juveniles charged with crimes must remain confidential and all court proceedings in such cases are closed to the public.
According to latest statistics from the F.B.I over 56.3 percent of hate crime victims are gay males.