Los Angeles

Man Accused of Threatening Transgender Women at Bar Faces Hate Crime Charge

The suspect is charged with one misdemeanor count of making a criminal threat and a misdemeanor count of a criminal threat constituting a hate crime for the altercation that followed the DTLA Proud Festival in 2019.

Khloe Perez-Rios

A man who allegedly threatened and hurled slurs at a group of transgender women in a downtown bar, sparking a confrontation with the business' security team that was captured on video, will be arraigned next month on a hate crime charge, prosecutors said Friday.

According to the Los Angeles City Attorney's Office, Eduardo Gonzalez is set to be arraigned Aug. 7 on one misdemeanor count of making a criminal threat and a misdemeanor count of a criminal threat constituting a hate crime.

Gonzalez is accused of approaching the group of transgender women who went to the Las Perlas bar and restaurant in downtown Los Angeles following the DTLA Proud Festival on Aug. 23.

According to the City Attorney's Office, Gonzalez allegedly “made multiple transphobic and misgendering slurs” toward the women, prompting a heated confrontation.

While being removed from the bar by security, he allegedly threatened to return with a gun, prosecutors said.

"Acts of hate against transgender people have no place in our society,'' City Attorney Mike Feuer said in a statement. “Transgender people, especially transgender people of color, already face an unconscionable risk of violence. Perpetrators need to be held accountable.” 

The confrontation and ensuing melee made headlines thanks to cell phone video showing club security subsequently physically ejecting the transgender women from the bar, despite their insistence they were not to blame for the original confrontation with Gonzalez.

The bar's owner initially said the bar's staff had acted in accordance with policy, but later said the security team had been replaced and the staff had received sensitivity training.

The bar issued a statement apologizing to the women and the transgender community.

Lisa Bloom, attorney for the transgender women -- Fernanda Celarie, Jennifer Cruz and Khloe Perez-Rios, said in May she was petitioning the state to revoke the bar's liquor license, citing a clause allowing such an action “when the continuance of a license would be contrary to public welfare or morals.”

Copyright CNS - City News Service
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