The Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Office has released a sketch of one of three men who allegedly attacked a 28-year-old Ypslanti Township woman Monday because she is a lesbian.
The woman had married her partner in a ceremony televised on a news broadcast a day after a federal judge overturned the state ban on gay marriage. She said she had gotten off the bus about 6 p.m. and was walking across an apartment complex when she was approached by three men.
One of them reportedly stated, “Hey b----. Are you that (anti-gay slur) from the news?” She alleged one of the men punched her in the face, knocking her to the ground and unconscious. When she came to, another kicked her torso, she said.
The three fled on foot.
Sgt. Geoffrey Fox of the sheriff’s department said that if an arrest is made, the case may be prosecuted under hate crime statutes, the Detroit Free Press reports. It’s currently being pursued as an assault case.
“We’re calling it an assault for now, but whether or not the suspects are identified and we’re able to prove a case on them, there could be additional charges regarding the hate-crime aspect of it,” he told the newspaper.
Fox said she had visible injuries to her eye and around her eye, which was swollen, as well as injuries to her arms and torso.
“The injuries matched exactly what she said had happened,” he said. “There’s no reason for us not to believe her, and we’ll proceed with the investigation. Everything we see matches what she said.”
The woman was able to identify only one of the alleged assailants – a white male, who is around 5 feet 11 inches tall and in his mid 20s. She described him as heavy or obese, with a low, husky voice. He was last seen wearing a dark gray or black hoodie and three-quarter length, high-top shoes.
Anyone with information on the attack on the Ypsilanti Township woman is encouraged to call the Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Office anonymous tip line at (734) 973-7711 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-SPEAK UP (773-2587).The woman, who asked that she not be identified, and her wife were among the 300 gay Michigan couples who were able to marry during the brief 24 hour period between U.S. District Judge Bernard Friedman’s ruling declaring Michigan’s voter-backed ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional and a 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals stay putting the ruling on hold.