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2 Held In SF Attack On Transgender Woman

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) -- A transgender woman was attacked near a Bay Area Rapid Transit station two weeks ago, prompting the LGBT community to organize a rally Friday night, San Francisco police said.

On Friday, April 1, two males at the 16th Street Mission BART plaza attacked a 20-year-old female just after 10 p.m., according to San Francisco police Sgt. Michael Andraychak.

The two men, later identified as San Francisco residents Lionel Jackson, 32, and Maurice Perry, 37, allegedly approached the victim and grabbed her smartphone. When she demanded the phone back, Andraychak said, they allegedly punched her in the head, and she fell to the ground.

Although she tried to stand back up, the men allegedly repeatedly knocked her to the ground. At some point she was also kicked, furthering her injuries, Andraychak said.

The suspects fled before officers responded to the scene after passersby called for help. With the help of witnesses, officers were able to detain the two men, and the victim was able to identify her attackers, Andraychak said.

"It was very instrumental that folks in the area got involved, called 911, stayed in the area and talked to police," he said.

Following the attack, Jackson and Perry were booked on suspicion of robbery, conspiracy and aggravated assault. After inspectors conducted interviews, a hate crime enhancement was added.

Perry was also booked for probation violation and had previously been ordered to stay away from the area of the attack. Jackson broke his parole hold, according to Andraychak.

The two men are still in custody. A preliminary hearing is set for Tuesday, April 19, according district attorney's office spokesman Seth Steward.

One of the attack's witnesses was Alexandra Byerly, program coordinator at El/La Para TransLatinas, who is heading the rally Friday night at the 16th Street Mission BART plaza.

Byerly was at an outreach event at the BART plaza, which is close to her office, saw the attack and rushed to help the woman and call police, Byerly said.

"It was pretty dramatic," she said.

Through her work for transgender Latinos, a rally and demonstration has been organized, Byerly said. The rally is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. at the site of the attack.

"You need respond to this kind of attack," she said. "To say 'no' to violence in the Mission; to say 'no' to violence to transgenders."

Former Supervisor Bevan Dufty, current Supervisor Davis Campos, State Sen. Leland Yee and other community leaders are expected to speak at the event, Byerly said.

The attack victim, whom Byerly has been in contact with and is reportedly recovering well, is expected at the rally, as well.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services may have contributed to this report.)

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