Arrest made in hit-and-run of a transgender woman

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The Metropolitan Police Department announced it has made an arrest in an intentional hit-and-run of a transgender woman on Wednesday night.

Acting Capt. Anthony Haythe said Startwaune Anderson, 18, of Northeast D.C. was arrested and charged with aggravated assault while armed for what allegedly happened on July 5, 2017.

Haythe said around 3:20 a.m., police were called to the 400 block of K St. NE for a hit-and run. The victim's injuries were considered life-threatening at the time, so the homicide branch led the investigation. Haythe said the victim is still in critical condition.

Friends of the victim who were at the news conference announcing the arrest said the victim is Davon "Boo Boo" Wallace of D.C. and that she can only communicate via blinking at the moment.

Police would not go into detail regarding what led up to the hit-and-run, but friends told DCW50 News at 10 that the driver, Anderson, and others in the car were engaged in a conversation with Washington and the group she was with. An argument eventually broke out, the driver left, and some time after that Washington was hit by the car.

Haythe would not say if Washington's identifying as transgender had anything to do with the incident and whether Anderson could be charged with a hate crime. He added that that possibility had not been ruled out, but police needed to interview more witnesses.

"You do not run over a human being after entertaining a conversation, right? There are women who are having conversations all the time across this city, they don’t get run over. Trans-women of color tend to experience crimes that are always over the top and talking to someone in a vehicle should not lead to your death. That is how I see it," said Ruby Corado, founder of Casa Ruby, an LGBT organization.

Anderson is expected to make his first court appearance Thursday.