Trans woman pleads guilty in firefighter incident

Trans woman pleads guilty in firefighter incident

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Kate Lynn Blatt, a Pottsville trans woman, last week pleaded guilty to assaulting two firefighters during a dispute on her property last year.

On Dec. 23, Blatt got into an altercation with the firefighters on the 400 block of Claude A. Lord Boulevard in Pottsville. The firefighters were there to extinguish a fire inside a garage on property owned by Blatt.

Blatt told PGN one of the firefighters touched her breasts inappropriately after the fire was extinguished, and that she acted in self defense by pushing him away. A fracas with other firefighters ensued that wasn’t her fault, she added.

“These men acted like a group of hoodlums and thugs,” Blatt said. “I still fear for my life.”

The plea agreement was approved by Schuylkill County Common Pleas Judge Cyrus P. Dolbin during a Nov. 14 court proceeding in the county courthouse.

Blatt initially was charged with two felonies and five misdemeanors including aggravated assault and resisting arrest. Under the terms of the agreement, Blatt pleaded guilty to two misdemeanors. She was sentenced to 18 months of probation and must report to a probation officer on a regular basis, according to court records.

“I had no other choice other than to accept the plea agreement,” Blatt told PGN. “I was faced with at least 10 years in a male prison if I didn’t plead guilty to the two misdemeanors.”

PGN obtained police body-cam footage of Blatt’s arrest, which shows police and firefighters repeatedly misgendering Blatt, though she promptly identified herself as a female. Police officers and firefighters referred to her as “he-she,” “him-her,” “dude” and “that.” One of the responding officers told Blatt to “shut the fuck up,” adding “you move, you’re getting fucking tased.”

Spokespersons for the Pottsville Fire Department and the Pottsville Police Department had no comment for this story. 

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