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'I'm Not a Hero,' Second Victim of Assault at McDonald's Says

Teonna Monae Brown, 18, was denied bond Monday after being arrested for allegedly attacking a transgender woman and the 55-year-old woman who tried to stop her on April 18.

Vicky L. Thoms doesn’t consider herself a hero.

But, that is exactly what many people from across the country are calling the 55-year-old woman for stepping in and trying to help a transgender woman who was assaulted by two females last week at a Rosedale McDonald’s.

The has received national attention after a video, recorded by an employee at the fast food restaurant went viral on the Internet.

A 14-year-old girl has been charged as a juvenile while another female, , 18, who lives on the 2000 block of Kelbourne Road in Rosedale, was arrested Friday and charged with first-degree assault, and two counts of second-degree assault. She was being detained at the Baltimore County Detention Center in lieu of $150,000 bail before her bond was denied Monday at a court hearing.

Thoms, who lives in Rosedale, said she had just entered the McDonald’s, located on the 6300 block of Kenwood Avenue, when she saw the two females attacking 22- year-old Chrissy Lee Polis near the restaurant’s restrooms. When no one attempted to break up the attack, Thoms said she felt obligated to do something.

“I don’t know why people are calling me a hero,” Thoms said. “I just did what I felt was right. What would you do if you saw the same thing? How would you feel if you were being attacked and other people just sat back and watched it happen? The whole incident makes me sick.”

According to court documents, the McDonald’s manager, Darick Jones, told police that Thoms “attempted to separate the suspects” from Polis. The two suspects, Jones said, then punched Thoms in the face “which caused her to become disoriented.”

Thoms said she had no idea why the females attacked Polis. The juvenile later told police that she and Brown were in the restaurant together and that they got into an argument with Polis “over using the bathroom,” according to court documents.

“I haven’t been able to sleep since the attack,” Thoms said. “I just can’t believe two young girls would be violent like that and that they would be so quick to hit a woman my age just because I tried to help."

Thoms said she would have offered to help again even though she has a bad back that has two metal rods and eight screws inserted in her spine. She added she didn’t know that Polis was transgender, and it wouldn’t have mattered if she did.

“It’s about human decency,” Thoms said. “I just keep having visions of someone nearly getting killed just for trying to go to the bathroom in McDonald’s. What has this world come to?”

Thoms said she plans on following through with charges against Brown and the juvenile to ensure this doesn’t happen to someone else.

Court records show Brown was also charged with assaulting another woman at the same McDonald’s last July, according to The Smoking Gun. However, the two counts of second-degree assault against Brown in the July 27 attack on 38-year-old Danielle Dower, of Rosedale were dropped in October.

“McDonald’s knew this girl’s history and they let her back in the building,” Thoms said. “Then, they kept letting the two girls back in multiple times to attack Chrissy some more.”

McDonald’s has since fired the employee who shot the video, but Thoms believes others that were there and did nothing to stop the attack should also be held responsible.

“McDonald’s needs to take responsibility for this incident,” Thoms said. “Every employee there who did nothing should be fired.”

A rally was planned for 7 p.m. Monday in front of the McDonald’s to bring attention to hate crimes. Several LGBT organizations are calling for the suspects in this case to be prosecuted for hate crimes.

Thoms said she wasn’t sure if she would attend the rally, but would like to speak with Polis.

“No human being should have to go through what Chrissy endured,” Thoms said.

The incident has generated so much attention, it led Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz to issue the following statement:

"Last week's beating of Chrissy Lee Polis in Rosedale once again reminds us of our responsibility as citizens to do all that we can to ensure that our neighborhoods provide a safe and welcoming environment for residents and visitors," Kamenetz said. "Although this vicious attack was an isolated incident and in no way reflects on the Baltimore County or Rosedale communities, it does serve as a wake up call that we all have a role to play in moving society forward. 

"It is the conversations around our dinner tables and the casual chatter among friends that develop patterns of behavior.   Each and every one of us plays a role in deciding what kind of a society we deserve and what kind of a society we will help create. 

"I have every confidence that Police Chief Jim Johnson and State's Attorney Scott Shellenberger will address this matter professionally, as they address all issues of public safety in Baltimore County.  But it is not only their responsibility to make us safe and secure.  That responsibility is shared by each of us who call Baltimore County home."

Walt April 26, 2011 at 11:57 AM
Leaving the assault incident behind, this story raises some very disturbing questions about the path our society is travelling. Is a "transgender" woman a man pretending to be a woman or a woman pretending to be a man? Regardless, would you be comfortable in a public bathroom with a person of unknown sex? Is it legal for such a person to use a public restroom? The term gender is misleading as it is a literary term as does not denote one's sex. The victim in this case is either a man or a woman. That is a biological certainty and no amount of operations to make one "LOOK" like a member of the other sex actually renders one so. If I dress up as a woman can I use the ladies room at a public restaurant? Can women wearing pants use the mens room? These are just the beginning of serious question that need to be dealt with as we wander down this road. Regardless of your opinion beating another person is inexcusable and the perpetrators should be held liable for what they have done...but nothing more. Hate crime laws are complete BS and should be repealed. If I "love" my victim should I recieve lesser punishment?

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