15 May 2011
7 May 2011
For the first time, the victim of a brutal beating has met the woman who tried to step in and help.
The story made headlines around the country and the world. Chrissy Polis, a transgender woman, was beaten inside a McDonald's in Baltimore County back on April 18th. Employees stood by and watched, and one worker recorded the attack with a cell phone.
Now, Polis says she's recovering but still trying to deal with the effects of that beating. The woman who stepped in, Vicky Thoms, says she wishes more people would have helped.
On Friday they went to lunch together, well outside of Rosedale, where Chrissy Polis says last month's video-taped attack at the McDonald's on Kenwood avenue brought her far more notoriety than she ever wanted. ‘I don't like to go outside usually. I really don't because I have a lot of people I know you, saying like 'I know you, you're that girl' and I don't want to be recognized that I really don't. I just want to go back to my low-key life,’ she said.
Polis said she cries when she sees the video, which shows two teens, police say an 18-year-old and a 14-year-old, beating her relentlessly. Thoms tried to stop them.
“If it wasn't for her they would have succeeded in dragging me out of the McDonald's and lord knows what they could have accomplished at that time,’ Polis said.
Thoms had just entered the restaurant when she saw what was happening. “I just couldn't understand why he was standing there, watching somebody being beat up and not helping,’ she said.
Polis said the teens attacked her because she is a transgender woman -- and she considers the beating a hate crime. “I am a woman now. I am. I've always been this way ever since the day i was born, ever since I could walk,’ she said.
The Baltimore County State's Attorney has not yet made a determination on whether hate crime charges should apply. Vicky Thoms says the distinction didn't occur to her during the assault; sShe saw someone in trouble, and she tried to help. “I don't look at her as different, I looked at her as human,’ she said.
Polis is unemployed -- and she says since the attack she's had a hard time finding work. She and Vicki Thoms say they plan to keep in touch now that they've finally met.