Kate Lynn Blatt, a trans woman who achieved a landmark civil-rights ruling, was incarcerated last week after an altercation with a Pottsville firefighter.
Blatt, 36, faces felony and misdemeanor charges, including aggravated assault, simple assault, resisting arrest and disorderly conduct. The incident occurred Dec. 23, after firefighters responded to reports of a fire at a property owned by Blatt.
Blatt emphatically denies the charges. She told PGN she acted in self-defense after a Pottsville firefighter touched her breast inappropriately, then other firefighters assaulted her.
“They had me pinned to the ground for 20 minutes. One of them put his boot on my head at my neck. Another pushed my head down into dirt. Somebody spit in my hair. Another one reached under my clothing to see if I had a penis.”
Pottsville police arrived, placed Blatt under arrest and impounded her vehicle — even though a friend offered to drive it away, she said. Blatt claimes that personal belongings and money subsequently were stolen from her vehicle.
Firefighters misgendered Blatt during the incident and police officers failed to give her a Miranda warning, she added.
Blatt was denied access to a female section of Schuylkill County Prison during her four-day incarceration. A prison staffer allegedly told her: “You’re not a woman if you have a swinging dick,” according to Blatt.
But Blatt said that, to her relief, other inmates treated her kindly, getting her a wool blanket and placing a phone call to her mother at her request.
“The prisoners took care of me,” she said. “I had a Christmas miracle.”
On Dec. 27, a $25,000 bond was posted, paving the way for Blatt’s release. An arraignment is tentatively set for 9:30 a.m. Jan. 15 at the Schuylkill County Court House in Pottsville, she said.
PGN's request for the Pottsville Police Department's official report of the incident did not receive a response by presstime.
Last year, Blatt received a landmark ruling in her civil-rights suit against Cabela’s Inc. when a federal judge said anti-trans bias is forbidden under the Americans With Disabilities Act. Blatt’s case subsequently was settled for an undisclosed amount of money.
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