Suspect in Atlanta Trans Beating Says He was Provoked
One of the men suspected in the beating of two transgender women on a Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) train in Atlanta last month said this week he and his friends were provoked by the women, Atlanta’s ABC-affiliate station WSB-TV reports.
MARTA police charged Luther Thomas, who goes by Lamar, and his friend Frederick L. Missick, 35, with disorderly conduct and suspended the men from transit service.
Thomas, 34, spoke with the station about the incident, which was caught on camera, uploaded to www.flyvidz.com and has since gone viral -- as of this writing, the clip has 2.94 million views. Thomas acknowledges the incident escalated after he lost his temper but claims he and his friends were provoked to fight.
Thomas is seen kicking and punching the two transgender women in the video but he says what isn’t shown is how the fight started.
"See that he keeps getting closer and closer," Thomas told WSB-TV as he pointed out the clip. "I’m not saying nothing."
He adds: "These guys they came on to me. Even the one that looked exactly like a female said she liked guys with dreads."
Thomas claims the women hit on him and he denied their advances and that’s what sparked the fight. He also said he felt threatened.
"He’s calling me the ’n word’ and then [smacking his hands saying] y’all better get him," Thomas said. "[They were] getting closer and closer."
During the fight, Tyra Woods was stripped of her clothes.