KALAMA, Wash. (KOIN) — A 16-year-old Kalama student who was arrested on Monday after he allegedly assaulted a transgender student is now facing a hate crime offense charge.
The assault prompted dozens of students to walk out of class Monday.
On the afternoon of June 6, the victim and the victim’s companion, who are both transgender, were targeted by a pair of students that were reportedly using anti-gay slurs and yelling “there are too many f—–s at this school.”
Police say that after the victim took a swing at one of the two students, one of the suspects initiated a physical altercation with the victim while yelling anti-gay slurs.
The fight reportedly ended with the suspect kicking the victim in the head while saying “How do you like that, f—-t?” The victim was concussed in the aftermath of the attack and was treated at a local hospital.
After an investigation, the 16-year-old suspect was arrested and taken to the Cowlitz County Juvenile Detention Center, where he was charged with assault and a hate crime offense.
“From a law enforcement standpoint, hate-motivated and bias-based violations will not be tolerated,” Kalama Police Chief Ralph Herrera said. “When they’re reported to law enforcement, we’re going to do a complete and thorough investigation. Every member of the Kalama community has the right to live free of intimidation, threats and violence.”