A transgender activist is accused of pepper spraying children during a physical altercation – but she claims she is the victim of a “transphobic” attack.
The incident reportedly took place in late October in Ambridge, Pennsylvania, ABC affiliate WTAE reported.
Dena Stanley allegedly pepper sprayed two children, aged 15 and 7.
Stanley’s spokesperson, Darnika Reed, told a local news station that Stanley was targeted by three people and hit in the head with a brick because she is transgender.
“With the language used and the names that Dena was called, it was obvious. Dena was not the aggressor, and Dena is an advocate for her community,” Reed told WTAE.
Cecilia Melvin, the mother of the two children involved in the incident, vehemently denies that claim.
“As far as me hating and targeting this person because they are transgender is BS. It really gets me very upset,” Melvin told WTAE. “It hurts. It really hurts because I fought my whole life because when people found out I was gay, they targeted me because I was gay. I would never do that to anybody or want anybody to feel that way.”
Reed dismissed Melvin’s assertion of her gay identity as irrelevant.
“Just because she’s a gay woman doesn’t mean that this was not a transphobic attack. That has nothing to do with it,” she said.
Melvin admitted to hitting Stanley with a brick.
“Yeah, I hit her with a brick, to get her off my 15-year-old child. Yes, I did. When they dropped to the ground, my son said he can’t see, he can’t see, he couldn’t breathe. He has asthma very, very bad,” she said.
According to Melvin, when she ran inside her house to wash out her children’s eyes, a brick crashed through the window.
Stanley, who turned herself into authorities on Nov. 1, hopes county prosecutors will drop all charges against her.