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Dallas man arrested for brutally beating transgender woman in possible 'hate crime' attack

Dallas police have arrested 29-year-old Edward Thomas for his role in an aggravated assault on a woman described as transgender
UPDATED FEB 28, 2020
(Source : Police Department)
(Source : Police Department)

A man has been arrested by law enforcement authorities in Dallas for allegedly brutally assaulting a woman who is reportedly transgender.

Dallas police said in an earlier statement that the woman was assaulted by "known suspects" in broad daylight in front of a crowd of people after a minor traffic accident at an apartment complex on Friday, according to a CNN report.

During the assault, which was caught on camera, the suspects reportedly used a series of homophobic slurs. As of now, investigators are still trying to determine if the attack fits the description of a hate crime. 

While 29-year-old Edward Thomas has been arrested for his alleged role in the assault, police are appealing for the public's help in confirming the identity of the suspect seen on footage assaulting the transgender woman.

Edward Thomas, 29, has been arrested for his alleged role in the assault. (Dallas Police Department)

At 11.23 pm on Friday, officers responded to a Dallas Hospital where they found the victim injured in the freak attack.

A man wearing a white shirt was seen in the video of the attack ruthlessly beating the woman unconscious. During the assault, homophobic slurs were heard in the background as the crowd looked on. She was eventually carried to safety by several women after the ordeal.

"I am extremely angry about what appears to be mob violence against this woman," Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings said after viewing the attack. "Those who did this do not represent how Dallasites feel about our thriving LGBTQ community. We will not stand for this kind of behavior."

"I am in contact with (Police Chief U. Renee Hall) and she assured me that the Dallas Police Department is fully investigating, including the possibility that this was a hate crime," Rawlings added.

According to CNN affiliate KTVT, the assault victim is currently staying with a friend after being discharged from the hospital.

Speaking to NBC DFW, the victim's father said she has been attacked in the past, but maintained that this was the most violent of them all.

"This doesn't need to happen to nobody else's kid, so we pray that everything comes out justifiable. We know the Lord works in mysterious ways," Pierre Booker said, describing the attackers as cowards.

The latest FBI data shows that 7,175 hate crimes were committed in the United States in 2017. The data reportedly showed a 5% increase in hate crimes motivated by sexual orientation bias and a 4% decrease in hate crimes motivated by gender identity bias, according to AP. 

With inputs from the Associated Press