A shocking assault caught on camera outside a downtown Palm Springs bar has left the victim, Skyy Perez, shaken and bruised.
Perez, who is a transgender woman, says the attack was targeted due to her identity. The incident occurred late Saturday night behind The Village, and police are now investigating it as a possible hate crime.
According to Perez, the incident began when her phone was stolen inside the bar. She approached a nearby woman to check her bag, but security escorted Perez out, leading to the attack in the alleyway.
"She hit me with a sandal in the back of my head, and I fell to the floor, I kind of lost consciousness. And then the other two girls that were with her came and they were like basically jumping me and tore my clothes," Perez said. "I was in disbelief and a rage that I got hit for simply existing."
Perez said she attempted to spit at the woman, and that's when she got sucker-punched to the ground by an unidentified man.
The clip is now circulating on social media, and News Channel 3 obtained security video from a nearby business which reveals a more extended dispute involving multiple people. During the altercation, a woman can be seen throwing Perez's wig onto the second story of a parking structure.
Perez's friend, Daniella Pineda, who was with her that night, shared the trauma they experienced. "I haven't slept, I can't even eat sometimes. Because it's very traumatic that we have to go through this," Pineda said. "Those people were hating because we were trans. And they couldn't just wrap their brains around us being able to live our lives out authentically."
Palm Springs police have confirmed the incident and are treating it as an alleged hate crime. However, no suspects have been identified yet.
Despite the assault, Perez remains determined to continue living her life openly. "It's gonna make me want to live my truth even more," she said.
The Village's general manager David Mariner wrote in a statement: "For this to happen near our establishment makes us truly upset as we strive to be a leader in forward thinking. We are all inclusive. We don't stand for anything that is hateful."