It has been three weeks since Kimy Hartman was brutally attacked by a group of strangers while walking down the street in Bushwick. The four men who assaulted the 28-year-old didn’t like the sound of her voice; when she spoke, they could tell she was transgender.
They called Hartman and her friend “faggots” and other slurs, punched and kicked her and, finally, smacked her in the head with a Plexiglas two-by-four. The last blow was so bad she required emergency surgery on her brain.
Hartman was released from Bellevue Hospital’s Traumatic Brain Injury Rehabilitation Center on Monday, but she is still suffering brain damage.
Before the attack, Hartman was a client of New Alternatives for LGBT Homeless Youth. The organization’s director, Kate Barnhart, said in a statement, “Kimy will require 24-hour supervision at home, as well as 10 medications per day, intensive outpatient brain rehab, and additional neurosurgery to replace the missing portion of skull.” She’ll need to wear a helmet as part of the rehab process.
As if things couldn’t get worse for Hartman, Barnhart says her car was towed during the three weeks she spent in the hospital and her cell phone was taken by the police, who hope it might have evidence that will assist in their investigation.
Barnhart has started a fundraiser to help offset costs associated with Hartman’s recovery. Right now, the goal is $5,000. (The campaign got a boost when musician Sky Ferreira tweeted about it over the weekend.)
Hartman was attacked only a few blocks away from the spot where, two weeks earlier, three men shot a gay man wearing feminine clothing. Since then, the New York Anti-Violence Project reports, there have been two more LGBT hate crimes in Brooklyn.
A 33-year-old man was attacked by a hammer-wielding assailant yelling anti-gay slurs in Crown Heights on October 13; on October 26, a lesbian couple was attacked after leaving One Last Shag in Bed-Stuy.
Nationally, hate crimes against LGBT and HIV-affected people are up 26 percent over the previous year, according to the most recent report from the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs.
The NYPD has released video footage of two of the four suspects in Hartman’s attack, but as of Monday, no arrests had been made.
Anyone with information about the suspects is being asked to contact Crime Stoppers by calling 1-800-577-8477, texting a tip to 274637 (CRIMES) using the code TIP577, or visiting NYPDCRIMESTOPPERS.com. Victims and witnesses can also report violence and get help by calling the New York City Anti-Violence Project hotline at 212-714-1141.