Thursday, February 5, 2015

Court documents reveal new details in attack on transgender woman

Posted By on Thu, Feb 5, 2015 at 3:31 PM

New court documents paint a more detailed picture of an incident involving the assault of a transgender woman in downtown Spokane last week. News of the assault drew over 100 people to city council chambers on Monday to express indignation over the beating of Jacina Carla Scamahorn, a homeless transgender woman. 

An affidavit of facts, released Feb. 4, is based on a police detective’s interviews with Scamahorn, the two suspects, the bartender at Boot’s and a customer. Here are a few big takeaways: 

  • The man who hit her denies being homophobic and says he only struck her once, and suggests that her injuries were self-inflicted.

  • Both men say they did not know that Scamahorn was transgender and deny making disparaging remarks about her not being "normal." 

  • Both men say she instigated the confrontation. Scamahorn spit in the face of one of the men who attacked her.

  • The officer who responded to the incident said he suspected Scamahorn had been drinking.
According to Scamahorn’s account, described in the affidavit, she stepped outside of Boots to the shared patio between the bakery and Zola, an adjacent bar, to get some fresh air and look for her ride. Two men, according to the account, started to make disparaging comments about her clothing and “told her that they were normal people and she wasn’t.” They also used a slur and made comment about her upbringing.

Scamahorn said, according to the affidavit, that Adam Flippen did most of the talking and she spit in his face before retreating to the bakery and sitting in a booth. About three to five minutes later, she told police, Flippen came inside the bakery screaming slurs and that “he was going to make her a bloody mess for spitting in his face.”

Johnny Dandurand, the bartender at Boots, unsuccessfully tried to intervene and left to get the bouncer from Zola, according to Scamahorn. Flippen, Scamahorn said, hit her in the face and then grabbed her by her shirt and knocked her down on her side, kicking her in the face. She started swallowing blood and rolled to her stomach while convulsing and lost consciousness.

Dandurand said he tried to get Flippen to leave and threatened to call the police. Flippen, according to Dandurand, said he was going to “beat her ass for spitting in his face.”

click to enlarge A picture of Marc Fessler captured in a security camera
  • A picture of Marc Fessler captured in a security camera
The affidavit also states that the officer responding to the victim smelled an “odor or intoxicants coming from her person,” although Scamahorn denies drinking.

According to Fessler’s account in the affidavit, he was was minding his own business on the patio with Flippen, another man and a woman they had met when Scamahorn “started giving Flippen crap.” Flippen told her to leave him alone. Scamahorn told Flippen he was a “prejudice asshole" and spit in his face.

Flippen’s account in the affidavit largely matches up with Fessler’s. According to Flippen, he’s not prejudiced and has gay friends. He admitted to hitting the victim in the right temple. He also denied that the conversation about Scamahorn not being normal ever occurred.

The detective showed Flippen a picture of the victim with a bruise under her left eye and a broken nose and facial fractures, which were consistent with multiple blows and a kick to the face.

click to enlarge Adam Flippen captured in a security camera.
  • Adam Flippen captured in a security camera.
His response: “Maybe she did it to herself after they left.”

Flippen, 45, has been charged with second-degree assault and malicious harassment, essentially Washington state’s hate crime statute.

Marc Fessler, 43, has been charged with malicious harassment.

They have retained attorney Rob Cossey and made their first court appearance on Feb. 4.

The police are looking for more witnesses, who are urged to contact Crime Check at 509-456-2233
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