LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — An arrest has been made in the robbery and assault of YouTube personality Eden the Doll and her friends who were attacked in Hollywood early Monday morning in what has been classified as a hate crime, authorities said Thursday.
During a Thursday afternoon news conference, the Los Angeles Police Department’s Hollywood Station announced the arrest of 29-year-old Carlton Callway in relation to the robbery/hate crime.READ MORE: DEA Agents Going Online In Effort To Catch Drug Dealers, Distributors
“The group of three transgender women were viciously attacked on Hollywood Boulevard,” said Deputy Chief Justin Eisenberg said Thursday. “What was particularly callous about these crimes was the actions of the onlookers.”
Police said they recognized another suspect from a cellphone video. Willie Walker, said to be homeless, was arrested Wednesday on extortion charges.
Meanwhile, police are continuing their search for a third suspect, Davion Williams, who they say is wanted for assault.
Detectives say they worked with the LGBTQ community to find the suspects. L.A. City Councilman Mitch O’Farrell said crimes like this have been happening against the transgender community for a long time.
“When I saw the video, like anyone who has seen it who believes in human decency, to see this level of violence celebrated gleefully, so much so that the perpetrator himself posted on social media, is like a sucker punch to all of us who believe in civilized behavior,” O’Farrell said.
On Thursday evening, dozens of demonstrators marched down Hollywood Boulevard in support of the women.
The attack happened early Monday morning around 2:15 a.m. when three transgender women, including Eden the Doll, whose real name is Eden Estrada, were waiting for an Uber in Hollywood. That’s when LAPD said a man attacked and robbed them.
“It was absolutely the worst day of my life,” said Estrada.READ MORE: Report: Orange County Hate Crimes Against Asian-Americans Up 1,200%
Estrada, who has close to half a million followers on the social media platform, said she believes the attack was targeted. She said that after the three women were robbed, people across the street were yelling out derogatory terms for those who identify as transgender and that was when the man started attacking them.
The suspect approached them again with a metal bar and demanded one of the women’s shoes and bracelet, police said. She complied out of fear, and the suspect grabbed her hand and forced her to walk a short distance with him before she could escape.
At one point, Estrada said the man hit one of her friends over the head — knocking her unconscious.
“My friend completely collapsed,” Estrada said. “I’m not a doctor. I don’t know if she’s breathing. I’m trying my hardest to help her. I’m begging people for help. I’m screaming for help.”
The women said the man took their cell phones, wallets and purses. And when they were screaming for help, the women said a large group of people were just recording them, not helping or calling the police. At one point in the video, people can be heard laughing at the women.
“Both victims are transgender women, and the suspect made derogatory remarks about their status during the crime,” police said.
“When I was waking back up, literally all I saw and all I could see were all these lights, people with cameras, laughing at me and telling me that they wish that he had killed me,” one of the women said. “They were upset because I was still alive.”
Estrada said she was able to get a copy of the video and give it to police after witnesses uploaded it to social media and people tagged her.
“I know that I’m so privileged, because I am a YouTuber and because people know who I am, but this happens all the time to women like me who aren’t on social media,” she said. “We need this to stop.”MORE NEWS: OC Receives More Than 83,000 COVID-19 Vaccine Doses In Single Day
Anyone with information about the suspect was urged to call the LAPD’s Hollywood Station at 213-972-2971.