A 30-year-old transgender woman who was arrested earlier this month for allegedly threatening to kill a gay man outside the D.C. gay bar Larry’s Lounge on June 9 after he refused her request for money has been targeting bar and restaurant patrons for assault and harassment in the 17th Street and 18th Street business corridors near Dupont Circle for the past several months, according to several sources familiar with the incidents.
Witnesses say the trans woman, Sissy Gracie, tells people she approaches that she is raising money for the D.C. LGBTQ community services center Casa Ruby and urges them – sometimes under great pressure – to make their “donation” in cash or by credit card through a credit card scanner linked to her cell phone.
Ruby Corado, founder and CEO of Casa Ruby, has posted messages on Facebook saying Gracie neither works for nor has been designated as a fundraiser for Casa Ruby and appears to be fraudulently pocketing large sums of money she receives from unsuspecting donors.
“If people want to give her money, that’s their business,” Corado told the Washington Blade. “My issue is that she is using violent behavior and that is reflecting on Casa Ruby.”
Corado and others familiar with Gracie say they have learned from members of the community that D.C. police have arrested her several times in recent weeks for threatening or assaulting people mostly in the 17th Street restaurant and bar strip between R and P Streets, N.W.
Police arrest records show she was arrested on July 19 outside the 17th Street gay bar JR.’s for allegedly assaulting JR.’s bartender and bar back Gideon Blum. Blum told the Blade that Gracie intentionally struck him with a Segway motorized scooter on which she was riding in an outdoor area on Church Street, N.W. where JR.’s has placed tables and chairs for customer seating.
Blum said a witness told him and D.C. police that Gracie was facing in a different direction but when she saw Blum she turned the two-wheeled Segway scooter around and drove it directly into Blum, knocking him over. He said he managed to just barely fall in a direction away from a grill used for cooking hot dogs and hamburgers. Had he landed on the grill he would have suffered serious burns, he told the Blade.