2 Teens Face Hate Crime Charges In McDonald’s Transgender Attack

ROSEDALE, Md. (WJZ) —  Prosecutors laid out the charges in Baltimore County, after the videotaped beating of a transgender woman inside a McDonald’s.

Andrea Fujii reports more serious charges have been filed against the two people accused of beating the transgender woman.

The county state’s attorney spent the last month deciding whether to file hate crime charges in connection with the attack. Now the charges have been filed and the two teens have been indicted.

A McDonald’s employees stood by in April and videotaped a brutal attack right in front of them.

The victim, Chrissy Polis, says she was targeted for being transgender.

She appears to have had a seizure after being kicked and punched in the head.

“Be who you are and go as you are, but people don’t want this to happen. In this century, it sickens me that it has to come down to this result,” said Polis.

Teonna Brown, 18, is now indicted on hate crime charges, in addition to the several assault charges she already faces.

A 14-year-old, who police say participated in the attack, faces the same charges in juvenile court.

Brown’s mother recently defended her daughter, but she did not want her identity to be revealed.

“Teonna has her moments, but she doesn’t hate people. She could have a blow out argument with you today and tomorrow she’d be sitting on the phone talking to you, laughing,” said Brown’s mother.

In a statement, Brown’s attorney says his client maintains her innocence, claiming what happened was in self-defense.

Sandy Rawls, who founded the community group Trans-United, doesn’t buy it.

“We kind of figured that it was a hate crime because it happens a lot in the trans community. It just doesn’t get reported because people aren’t taping it and putting it on YouTube,” said Rawls.

Rawls says she and Polis plan to sue McDonald’s for not properly training employees.

Governor Martin O’Malley issued a statement Tuesday about the hate crime charge. 

“I want to commend Baltimore County State’s Attorney Scott D. Shellenberger for using every available means to prosecute the heinous beating of Chrissy Lee Polis last month. 

“Even with Maryland’s ‘hate crimes’ law, it is clear that more must be done to protect the rights and dignity of transgendered people.  In the struggle for justice and equality for all, I’m committed to working with the Maryland General Assembly during the next legislative session to increase awareness and provide even greater protections for transgendered people. 

“As some have noted, out of this awful beating has come a moment to foster a deeper understanding and respect for the dignity of all persons.  We should not allow the moment to pass without greater action.” 

A few weeks ago Polis told our media partner, The Baltimore Sun, she is doing OK healthwise, but is still afraid to go outside.

  • chesterthegolfer

    Put them behind bars where they belong…

    • lisa

      all i know is if the roles were reversed the naacp would be all over this for a hate crime!!! so i dont understand why people arent considering this to be one

  • T

    The comments about Teonna Brown’s mother regarding her personality are concerning. Flipping from one extreme to the next with people isn’t normal.

    • whatsinaname

      I agree, she just put her daughter in jail where she belong. These chix need to start being women and stop acting like wild animals. I don’t feel any sympathy for either one of them. If it had been self defense I could understand. They probably have done far greater disgusting things with a male than be in the restroom with one.

    • Billiam

      Flipping from one extreme to the other? Come on, really? Does she look sorry for what she did? Her mother doesn’t want to be identified so you know the story of her being bi-polar is a farce.

  • Making me laugh

    Self defense, are you kidding me. That’s what the Miss Brown’s lawyer is saying. I guess you pay for what you get, in this case not much.

  • Leah C

    I agree, T. I thought the same thing. Sounds like she may be bi-polar, swinging grom one extreme to the other. However, it doesn’t excuse her and the 14 year old thuggette from acting like animals. They both need to be charged as adults (the 14 year old KNOWS the difference between right and wrong). I hope Chrissy Polis takes that McDonald’s for whatever she sues them for! And I’m glad she didn’t have any lasting physical effects from this.

  • Robert Jones

    I feel as though the employee who video taped and posted the video on you tube and did nothing about it should receive the same sentence

    • Ric

      Well….He got fired from McDonald’s…. He’s already serving his sentence. Who’s going to hire a guy that got fired from McDonald’s – especially for this particular stunt?

      • Still Employable

        He will simply get another job at another fast food chain. And, he will get it the same way that he got this one; with no prior experience on his job application.

    • williejoe

      The video tape is up for an award @ the Cannes film festival this week.

    • sammy123

      All the employees and managers working that night should all be fired and chrged for not helping her. And the customer who DID step in and save this girls life should be rewarded

    • Alexandra Brown

      I agree 100%

  • Tracy

    Those girls deserve the charges they get, but the thing I think is crazy is that McDonalds is going to be sued now. So, the minimum wage employees now need to be trained to break up a fight like that? If it’s to teach people to call the police I get it, but those girls were scary.

    • Annie

      I agree these girls deserve what they get, they both should be charged in this crime. However, no matter what wage an employee makes does not change the fact that they represent the company they work for. I do not believe that an employee should put his or herself in harms way by placing theirselves in the middle of a fight. But, I do believe if the employee’s should have called the police or even told the two attackers that they were doing so, the victim would not have had to go thru this severe beating. Let’s not forget, these employee’s did take their time to video this young women getting beat and kicked in the head! Not only did they not try to help this young lady but they also took their time to post the beating on youtube! Those employee’s deserve to be charged as well ! As far as Mcdonalds getting sued, well, reguardless of the pay wage of the employee’s, McDonalds does have a hiring process. Employee’s are interviewed as with any other job. So, maybe a manager dropped the ball and hired unfit peope, whatever the case, the emploee’s worked for that company and so justice should be served. I believe in live and let live, people should really think about that. I’m sure this young lady has struggled her whole life to try to be the person she felt she was born to be. IT must take great pain and courage to become the person your heart tells you, you are. Everyone should also take time to think about how you would feel if this was someone you loved who was attacked, just trying to live life and find happiness. I always taught my kids , that even if they didn’t agree with the way someone dressed, talked , acted or looked to never judge. If people dont have anything nice to say they need to keep their mouths shut. This young lady was just going to eat, just because she was different, she was attacked, beaten and then hurt even deeper to find her attack had been posted on youtube…How would people feel if this was their child, or someone, they loved. They all deserve what they get, even the company who hired such cruel people. I hope this young lady can live her life to the fullest, get past this and maybe someday help people like herself get thru hard times.

      • Ric

        Annie – you refer to “these employees.” Only one moron did the video and posting. How can a manager, or a corporation the manager works for actually KNOW in advance of hiring a person how he/she will respond to such a situation? Do you ask in an interview…..”Well, Tyrone… one more question… If you were working a shift here at the restaurant, and a fight broke out, would you A. Break it up. B. Call the police. C. Jump up with your cell phone, video the event, and post it on YouTube? How do you think the guy would respond to the question? You state that “employees are interviewed as with any other job” – but it’s not really like “any other job” – it’s a minimum wage and temporary stop for most who take it. The depth of an interview in this particular job market is not going to uncover much “depth” – sorry. I got an idea – why don’t you devise a test of sorts for minimum wage paying jobs that determines what type of decency a human being possesses, instead of blaming a manager and an entire corporation for the action of one, now unemployed, idiot.

      • DH

        Annie = Good Parent
        Brown’s Mother (who chooses to hide in the shadows) = BAD Parent
        Bystanders, employees, citizens who do nothing when they see this happening = idiots

  • Mandy Giannattasio

    I completely agree, Robert. They were ALL old enough to know the difference between right and wrong. They should ALL be charged the same. As for the mother defending her child, of course she is going to down play her daughters’ actions. That’s what a mother does, but it in no way makes it any less serious and concerning for the population as a whole. How many other people have these 2 little girls attacked because they are different? As for being Bi-Polar, it is most likely a strong possibility. I bet their lawyers will try to use this as a defense now that the mother has planted that seed of doubt. Bi-Polar or not, she is guilty and should be sentenced accordingly.

  • no relief

    I think assault should be just that…assault. I think “hate” should not be illegal. I think that only God can judge a person’s heart and soul. Would it have been different if she assaulted a white girl for no reason? Or another black girl for no reason? Is she punished more because somebody thinks she had hate in her heart? And if she does have hate in her heart, that is nobody’s business. People cannot be forced to feel a certain way inside. Punish her for her crime, the end.

    • Ric

      God is our only judge? Well then – in that case we shouldn’t have any courts or mortal “judges.” We should let everyone do whatever he or she wishes to do, with impunity, because GOD is the only judge and he’s gonna bring it large someday…. we don’t know when… I mean…. you can ask the guy that was telling us it was to be this past weekend (which I cancelled my plans for grrrrrr)…. but anyway… GOD is the only “judge.” I’ll tell you one thing – I wish that rapture day would come fast and scoop up all the believers and get them off of this planet – and I hope he brings his buddy Allah with him too to escort those clowns out of the park as well. The rest of us could then actually live in peace and non-judgment and enjoy this amazing thing called life.

    • Williejoe

      No relief, GFY.!!

    • itchyyy

      You are black, right?

    • Elaine

      Hate is more than in her heart, it is in her fists, facial expressions, rage, and actions while she beat someone for being different. It is obviously a hate crime. Stick to the story here. This hateful act of violence is disgusting.

  • Pooh

    I agree, what does KKK stand for, HATE. We can’t lock all of them up. I think there is room to train the 14 year old that this is wrong, but the 18 year old should be in prison, she choose this life, bi-polar or not.

    • big jerr

      NAACP stands for same thing= HATE WHITES

    • Can't Fix Stupid

      That 14 year old knew EXACTLY what she was doing. That animal needs to be charged as an adult as well. You can’t train a wild animal.

      • khayce

        its funny white are calling blacks animals at every turn but your not racists right; whites have killed off african americans since the inception of this racist country this doesnt justify what these immature children have done they should be punished to the fullest extent of the law no exception; but it nice to know that you and others like are true to who you are.

      • Rob B

        Khayce: Its funny tht you say that “whites have killed african americans since the inception of this racist country”. What about the african americans who are killing other african americans EVERY DAY. Its is on the news every day, this black person shot this black person due to hate, due to some dude looking at another dude the wrong way, this guy checking out his girlfriend or whatever. It that racists? Black killing blacks? That happens every day. These people are animals. Im not saying blacks in general, I am regarding the animals that attacked this girl. You have to be an animal to act like that. Black people always want to pull a “racist” card but do not want to take responsibility for their actions. It is statistically true that more Blacks committ crimes than whites. They are always stealing, killing, robbing and raping…more than white people are. People feel unsafe walking in a black neighborhood….but not in a white? Why is that. You black make a name for yourself by acting the way you do. Instead of playing the poor old racist card, teach your children the correct way to act so that they grow up to change the black community for the better. You act like anmials, your gonna be called an animal. Instead of acting violent all of the time, living like trash, throwing trash on the ground and living in a dirt house, clean up after yourselves, clean up your act and blacks may be respected more in this world. You guys cause this stuff for yourselves.

      • tylerjake

        Exactly right Rob! khayce is a product of 40 years of liberal teachings. That is blaming everyone else, but the person that appears in the mirror.

  • Somebody

    LOL self defence? Are you serious? C’mon man

  • Amanda

    Self defense??!! I guess they still felt threatened when the victim was laying in the fetal position and that is why they continued to beat her. That defense is hilarious!

  • Dawn

    They just gave Grimmis a bad rep!That big bully totally reminds me of Grimmis.Whos next?The Hamburgler?Put their big animal acting selves in a friggen cage where animals belong.Not free to run the streets looking for someone else to bully.Bi-polar my butt!Just a lame excuse to try to get out of her actions.Nice try.Shouldve tried to tame her wild self a long time ago.Makes me sick they think they can do whatever the heck they want to people and not suffer consequences.Bet if I beat their butts up because I was bi-polar they would throw in the race card.This was definately a hate crime.Fricken beasts.

  • down the drain...

    so they are only being charged with a hate crime b/c Chrissy is transgendered? what about the fact that she is white and the assailants are black? becase we all know if the situation was reversed that would be the case, without question. what…black people are racists too…that cant be! and seriously self defense?!? you’ve got to be kidding me! those animals walked away and then came back to beat her…we saw the video! everyone of the disgusting people involved in this needs to do some serious soul searching…you all will have some nasty karma to deal with. McDonalds its time to step up and throw around those billions of dollars you have to show you support the communities that have supported you for years.

    • not sure

      i believe it was more racial hate involved than the transgendered aspect of it. Racism is a very serious issue that festers in hearts or Whites, Blacks, and Latinos. Its sad that its a deep rooted seed in the foundation of this great nation, it will continue to be a problem because it is a personal issue that starts at home and is nutured by society. these girls are absolutely wrong.

  • retired police

    To read the constant racial rants of this IDIOT who calls himself “sheriff willie” let’s me see why SOME people do what they do. I don’t believe he is, was or EVER will be, nor will be smart enough to be, a sheriff or deputy sheriff. And the McJIGS comment was unnecessary, unlike the condom his father should’ve worn 9 months before his birth. If this was indeed an attack orchestrated by these two females, beginning in that female bathroom, then they deserve to be charged with assault. Hitting and kicking the guy after he was down is cowardly and is equally appalling. However, until it is proven this incident was caused by race or sexual preference, no hate crime charge is warranted.

  • not sure

    I believe these girls do deseve punishment because the young he/she was not fighting back and appeared very defenseless. I’m not sure I agree that its a transgendered hate crime because they never referred to the victim as a man they only called it a (female dog). I reviewed the video and I couldn’t tell that it was a male until the media revealed that fact. I honestly believe this is more of a racial hate crime then a transgendered one.

  • fly09

    First of all nobody knows what might have happened in the bathroom between these individuals. For all we know Christy Polis might have attacked them or been popping off at the mouth. However even if that’s the case you don’t go around beating people up for it.

    • Exactly

      I have wondered what occurred in the bathroom prior to the beating footage that was posted on Youtube. For the record; “Wondering” is not “Knowing”.
      For this reason, I have not judged the girls involved in the beating. That said, I have seen the video footage and it appears the girls were continuing their brutal assault beyond the point of self defense. Clearly, this transgendered individual was offering no resistance to the assault.
      Here’s a question for the rest of us…Which of us are willing to share a public restroom with this type of individual? Perhaps the court should make a ruling with regard to whether Polis should have used the womens bathroom.
      Women: Had this been a man that was not wearing makeup and women’s clothing, might you react with physical agression if you discovered a man in the women’s bathroom? (within reason, of course) And, if so, what difference does the clothing and eyeliner make in that scenerio?
      Interesting, that several have commented on the questions, regarding Miss Brown’s mental health. Would it be prudent to question the mental health of a man who dresses in women’s clothing, wears make-up, and enters a public “ladies room”? Of course not. That would be labeled as “transgender hatred”. Perhaps we should question our own mental health for allowing sexual deviation to “take precedence” over the majority.

  • Sally

    Of course her mother is going to say that…that’s what mothers do! Their child can be a serial killer and they would defend them…in their mind, they are still their baby. However, both these girls knew what they were doing was wrong. There is nothing wrong with them except they think this kind of behavior is going to be tolerated. Obviously they had no discipline when they were growing up or they would have been taught that behavior like this is wrong, wrong, WRONG! The Brown girl had already been in trouble previously for fighting at the VERY SAME Mcdonalds. That shows she has a history of being a troublemaker…there was no self defense…she simply decided to act like a fool and the 14 year old made the same decision. There is no excuse for this kind of behavior…they could have easily killed their victim. They need to be punished to the full extent of the law and then some! These kids these days need to learn that there are consequences to their actions.

    • Ric

      Easy Sally… give her mother a break. If Teonna Brown is 18 her mother is likely 33 to 35 tops… still young and naive, and likely busy with five or six other sons and daughters (all with different last names).

  • Mike

    Her mother defended her by saying that she has her moments. Then maybe she should think of putting a leash on her daughter and walking her around like you would do a wild animal. Self defense, excuse me, where? It was the two of them against one and I see nothing that look like it should be self defense except for the one who was receiving the beating. This whole thing had to be a set up by someone because I have seen the transgender person on tv and I would not have known it was a him who is now a her. Someone in that place started this whole mess and they should find out who they were and charge them with being an accessory to the attack. As for the employee video taping this instead of calling the police, maybe they did some good because now hopefully the video can be used against the two wild animals who did the attack. They are both a serious excuse to be a member of the human race.

    • Sally

      The victim stated it was the MANAGER who told the girls that she was transgendered. Can you imagine..the MANAGER. I hope this guy is no longered employed and if he is, this place should be boycotted until he is thrown out. I hear he even complained that the victim was bleeding on “his floors”!!

  • Sally

    If the manager, as the victim stated, really did fill in everyone on the fact that the victim was transgendered while she was in the bathroom, he was an instigator and at the very least should be fired from his job! A person like that has no business in being in ANY supervisory position…..if he keeps his job, he should be demoted to sweeping the floors.

    • dwcjj

      Now look here miss the customer that claim she got hit in the face asked me how it started(but she didnt say all that when she talking to the media) and i told her and u dont have to come to store i work at im still going to get a paycheck and i got promoted and a raise i dont work for that owner but im still in charge and running the store and as far as im concerned u can kiss my ass and sweep the floor at the stable where i go horse back riding

      • Diamonds and Glitter

        To dwcjj

        Very impressed with your success story.

        Imagine the level of success that you could have acheived, had you stayed in school.



    • sheriff

      Arnold, STFU turd. That spoonie was in a jew neighborhood breaking into people houses & he’s lucky he didn’t get his skull bashed in but then again Coons have hard heads with nothing in them.

  • tink22

    I often read the comments and I always find myself shaking my head in shame. I am African American, and there are times when we do play the race card and in some cases it’s not needed. The two females were ignorant the black and white people that stood around and watched the girl get beat damn near to death were ignorant. It’s not a black/white issue it’s an issue of pure ignorance. Also the 18yr olds mother completely put her foot in her mouth by saying her daughter has her moments I don’t judge peoples parenting skills but I can see why home girl is a little off the hook. She should have hired someone to issue a statement on her behalf. We all know Baltimore has a high population of lead babies…. As for you Sherriff Willie black and white lead babies, Trash!

    • Thankyou!

      Hello tink22,
      I am a white, middle-class American, and I just wanted to take a moment to formally recognize the truth contained in your statements. Unlike the majority of those who are incited by the racial slurs, and respond by unleashing their underlying hatred in shameless contirbution to the problem, you possess the superior ability to recognize the source of the problem.
      Indeed, stupidity is the fuel that feeds the fire; not color. It is easy to find a wide range of acheivements in every ethnic group. Each black, yellow, red, or white individual that sees beyond the prevalent beliefs of their own race, and strives to better themselves as human beings, paves the way to a more intelligent and unified tomorrow for our planet as a whole.
      It is sad to see the intellectual energies expended on this, and other forums, which lessen our existence, and pit one against another in utter waste of our effort and potential.
      As for you, tink22, you are able to comprehend what so many around you fail to see. The truth is all around us, woven into the very fabric of our existence. It is not the color of this fabric that is paramount, rather, the threads which join this fabric in uniform direction that ultimately lends to its strength and beauty.
      Here is a challenge to those who would like to exist in a world that is free of ignorance, hatred, and violence: Look not, to small minds that empower the few, but to the tangible ideals that shall further the many.
      After all…I am able to do this, despite being white. How much easier it must be for you to do the same.

  • http://www.transexualmenace.org/2011/05/2-teens-face-hate-crime-charges-in-mcdonald%e2%80%99s-transgender-attack/ 2 Teens Face Hate Crime Charges In McDonald’s Transgender Attack | The Transexual Menace

    […] Prosecutors laid out the charges in Baltimore County, after the videotaped beating of a transgender woman inside a McDonald’s. Read More… […]

  • Susan

    Self defense my butt! Teonna is a good hundred pounds or more larger than Chrissy. Also, Teonna was already charged with assault in another incident at the same McDonalds. I don’t care what color or gender you are, a bully is a bully.

  • Sickening

    to see this kind of hate going on, I used to live 2 blocks away from that Mcdonalds and then all of a sudden section 8 housing came along and with it came all these inner city kids who are just street thugs, my daughter’s bike got stolen and the next day we caught this kid riding it , stole it right off our yard, now this Mcdonalds has turned into a local hangout where these kids just look for trouble , they have nothing better to do than beat up people or steal from ya, they get a chance to get away from the city and this is what they bring with them…Hate…Crime…Beatings…robbery…sad part is they will never ever change …..there is nothing we can do ….the Parents are just as bad if not worse ….we moved and glad we did ….that Mcdonalds has lousy food , employees and customers …..the ghetto is closer than you think

    • sheriff

      Sickening, Amen, well stated.

    • Hmmmm?

      So, lets make sure we fully understand….

      Are you saying that “Section 8 Housing” causes a good, quiet area to become riddled with violence, crime and social unrest?

      So, by providing government funding for programs that pay for housing, food medical care, and jobskills training, with no requirement to “repay” the cost of these services; the end result is “bad”?

      Who knew??????

      • Diane King

        Hmmmm, actually I’m not referring to Section 8 housing. I’m referring to communities that once were predominantly white but are changing and becoming more integrated and then as time goes on becoming predominantly black. Having your once tranquil, crime-free neighborhood change in front of your eyes quickly changes one’s ideas about race.

    • Diane King

      Sickening — your post could be me in about 5 years. This is exactly what is starting to happen to my neighborhood and it is, in fact, quite sickening.

    • dwcjj

      well im sorry that u feel like that but when i worked there and im glad i dont now cuz all i ever saw was pwt(poor white trash) come in there but the few african americans that would come in there werent that bad to wait on

  • Diane King

    Self-defense??!! Somehow in Teonna’s twisted mind she thinks she needs to bust out with violence to defend herself against some comment that Chrissy Polis may have made. I hope they throw her in jail for the maximum allowable. Anyone who would act like that cannot be trusted out among people. Who knows when the next time is that she would have one of her “moments”. Oh that’s right, this time is “next time”. Lock her up.

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