Three people, including a transgender woman, were attacked in Portland, Oregon, in what police say may be a bias crime.
The assault happened in a downtown parking lot around 2:30 a.m. Thursday, and the assailants had fled by the time officers arrived, Portland police said in a statement.
Atlas Marshall, who said she was attacked near some food carts, believes she was targeted because she is transgender, NBC affiliate KGW of Portland reported.
“He saw me, visibly could tell I was trans, I was queer, and he started throwing homophobic and transphobic slurs at me,” Marshall told the station.
She said that insults turned into a physical attack and that she was held down by two men and beaten.
A friend pulled the men off her and ended up with a broken nose and black eye, she said.
“It’s been very emotional,” the friend, Austin Schuchard, told the station. “I’ve never really experienced, first on hate like this before.”
“There were elements of the crime that possibly met the criteria for a Bias Crime,” Portland police said in the statement, which also asked anyone with information to come forward.
In Oregon, bias crimes are defined as any criminal act in which a person is targeted because of race, color, religion, sexual orientation, disability, gender identity or national origin, Portland police said.
KGW reported that Thursday’s incident occurred a week after another transgender woman, Marla Standing-Owl, said she was attacked while driving for the ride-sharing service Lyft on Sept. 6 in Portland.
Standing-Owl said she was attacked by a male customer she picked up from a hotel who was drunk and told her “you’re nothing but a man.”
“I told him I don’t need bigotry in my car and that’s when he snapped,” she told the station. Standing-Owl said that the man punched her repeatedly while she was driving and that she pulled over and used pepper spray on the assailant before he ran off.
Phil Helsel is a reporter for NBC News.