A trans man last week was struck by a hit-and-run driver in West Philadelphia.
A minivan struck the 25-year-old victim around 4:40 p.m. Oct. 24 at 56th Street and Wyalusing Avenue, said Philadelphia Police Department Deputy Commissioner Joe Sullivan. The victim, who suffered from a broken pelvis and a fractured femur, was taken to Presbyterian Hospital.
According to police, two people were involved in the incident. They included a 6-foot black man in his early 20s, who was wearing a red T-shirt and blue jeans. He had a light-brown complexion and a thin build. The driver, a black woman, was operating a dark-blue or burgundy-colored minivan, believed to be a Chrysler Town & Country or Dodge Caravan.
At a press conference Tuesday, Lt. John Walker added that another woman was a front-seat passenger. No description was made available as of presstime.
Walker said the victim was talking on a cellphone on the street corner when the minivan pulled up to the stop sign and then backed up. One of the passengers said to the victim “something to the effect of, ‘I didn’t realize you lived in this neighborhood,’” Walker said. As seen on surveillance footage, the male passenger in the back seat opened the car door. Walker said he yelled to a person on the sidewalk, “Do you know that male standing on the phone?” The person replied “no” before approaching the vehicle. The male passenger then exited the vehicle and approached the victim.
“As [the male passenger] took one or two steps toward our victim, the car then moves forward to the right, striking our victim, knocking him to the ground, causing him to fall underneath the front tire, runs him over and then the car reverses over top of [his] body,” Walker said.
The male passenger fled the scene.
“The victim denies knowing anyone in that car at this point so we’re not quite sure if it’s mistaken identity,” Walker said.
Sullivan said the victim did not indicate if there was any exchange to suggest this was an anti-trans attack but noted officers also do not have “evidence that it’s not.”
“It appears that our victim will survive but this is a serious crime,” Sullivan said. “This victim sustained some very serious injuries and indications are that he will have quite a lengthy rehabilitation.”
Anyone with information regarding this incident should contact Detective Opalski of Southwest Detective Division at 215-686-3184 or 215-686-3185 or anonymously through 215-686-TIPS.
*This is a developing story and can be updated at any time.