D.C. police announced the arrest a 19-year-old man in connection with an assault on five gay women outside a nightclub, some of whom had reportedly complained that officers at the scene refused to take a report on the incident.
The alleged attack and the police response stirred anger in the gay and lesbian community, and D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier said she was appalled by the officers’ conduct. She said their response would be “investigated thoroughly.”
The five women were assaulted by two male suspects near the Columbia Heights Metro station around 3 a.m. on July 30, police said. Prior to the assault, police said, derogatory terms were used about the victims’ sexual orientation.
On Tuesday, police detained Christian Washington, of Northwest D.C., on an arrest warrant in the case.
Lanier told gay activists at an August 4 meeting that as many as seven officers could be fired for allegedly refusing to take a complaint in the assault, the Washington Blade reported.
Each of the five women was punched in the face and body during the attack, according to the Blade. The women told the Blade the assault started after the women spurned the men’s attempt to flirt with them.
The police department’s Gay & Lesbian Unit took a report on the incident three days after the assault, the Blade reported. The women said that officers at the scene apprehended and detained one of the suspects, but then let him go.