Despite following instructions from the owner of the campground he was at, a Trans man named Noah Ruiz was attacked on July 3 when he left the women’s bathroom that he’d been told to use. To top things off, he was then arrested by local authorities.
At Cross’ Campground in Camden, Ohio, the property owner Rick Cross told 20-year-old Ruiz to use the women’s restroom because he had been assigned female at birth, and Cross felt this would be safest. Following this advice, Ruiz entered the women’s restroom with his girlfriend.
While in the restroom, however, a woman became incensed that Ruiz was there. “She was like, ‘No man should be in this bathroom. Like, if you’re a man you need to use a man’s bathroom’,” Ruiz told local news outlet FOX19 NOW. “And I was like, ‘I’m transgender. Like, I have woman body parts, and I was told to use this bathroom.’”
Three “large men” then accosted and attacked him. Ruiz told FOX19 that the men punched him and “choked [him] out” for using the women’s bathroom, despite his trying to explain that he was following the instructions he had been given. His attack resulted in bruises, cuts and gashes, but that wasn’t the end of things.
“The police were called to Deescalate [sic] the situation,” Ruiz wrote on Twitter, “but the men who jumped me ran and took off, Rick cross [sic] was assaulted as well for trying to help me but everyone was intoxicated and not listening to anyone but themselves.”
In the end, the police arrested Ruiz for “disorderly conduct” and “obstructing official business.” FOX19 reported that “Preble County Sheriff Michael Simpson says the deputies weren’t initially aware of the assault, that a large crowd had gathered, that Ruiz was highly intoxicated and that he was becoming belligerent.”
According to a TikTok Ruiz posted on his Twitter, multiple of the marks left on him from the events of July 3 came from the actions of the police, including the use of a taser.
On a GoFundMe page set up to help with the legal bills he’ll incur in pressing charges, Ruiz’s account of the situation confirmed that a large crowd gathered, but described the scene differently.
Ruiz wrote that the men jumped him and shoved him against the wall, as well as “yelling slurs, punching me in the back of the head, choking me out and shoving the family and friends I had with me.”
“i[sic] tried to defend myself and ended up going to jail for the situation,” Ruiz wrote, “but no one else was charged.”
Jennifer Ruiz, Noah’s mother, told FOX19 that no one listened to an upset Ruiz when he tried to explain what had happened. “So Noah did then get out of hand, and he admits to his part of getting out of hand, from screaming, yelling,” she said. “He was in defense mode, and when police got there, they didn’t listen to him.”
Ruiz filed a report about the attack with the police after being arrested himself, according to FOX19. “I refuse to be silenced about this incident and am pushing for charges on my attackers,” Ruiz wrote in his fundraiser description. He told FOX19 that he wants his assailants held accountable, and his mother said the same.
Sheriff Simpson said that the police are searching for the three men, and that “after interviews, authorities will consult with the prosecutor’s office to see if charges will be filed,” according to PinkNews.
The Sheriff’s Office has not yet made any announcements through its website or Facebook, despite a post on its Facebook account asking followers to help share a warrant for the arrest of someone else as recently as July 6.
As LGBTQ Nation notes, stories like that of Ruiz’ demonstrate the way greater society traps Transgender people in impossible situations. In multiple states across the US, local governments have attacked Trans people through legislation, including considering and enacting bills prohibiting Trans people from using the bathrooms that align with their gender identities.
And yet evidently people also have a problem with Trans people using the bathroom corresponding to the sex they were assigned at birth, if Ruiz’ experience of being attacked is any indication.
“I was jumped and beaten and called a F*G. For using the bathroom I was TOLD to use,” Ruiz wrote on his GoFundMe. “trans [sic] people are people and we do not deserve the hate and pain we still get today.”
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