CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - A transgender woman living in Charlotte says she recently became a victim of violence.
Ralayzia Taylor has only lived in Charlotte a year. She said that last Monday morning she decided to go for a walk and smoke a cigarette near the Arbor Glen Park off Clanton Road.
What would happen next, she would have never expected.
She said two people started following her and began to chase her.
"They probably just wanted to rob someone that day and then when they found out I was a transgender, it got worse," said Taylor.
The transgender woman said one of the assailants was armed with a hatchet and used it to cut her. She said the attack happened in a wooded area in the park.
"I'm just laying there bloody and I'm like, 'Oh my God help me,' just bout to die," said Taylor.
She said that during the attack, the suspects used gay slurs. Taylor considers the incident a "hate crime," but no law enforcement organization has referred to the situation as a hate crime yet.
Eventually the attackers stopped, and Taylor was able to run away and ask people for help. The beating left her feeling bad on the outside and the inside.
"I didn't deserve this at all. I'm not a bad person," said Taylor.
The Mecklenburg County Jail website shows that 18-year-old Dajion Tanner and 18-year-old Destiny Dagraca have been released on bond on charges including attempted first-degree murder. A 15-year-old was also arrested.
The victim required dozens of stitches and still has marks on her body from the attack. She had stern words for her attackers.
"I just want to tell them if they are in jail, they need to live in jail," said Taylor.
Taylor admits that attack does leave her with safety concerns. She says regardless, she will be back to North Carolina and will encourage the LGBT community to be on the lookout for danger.
"I just want to tell all the gays and trannys to keep their heads up - not just blacks, but whites, Hispanics - it doesn't matter. Just all keep their heads up," said Taylor.
Taylor has filed a report with the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department.
Officials with the Federal Bureau of Investigation confirmed that they are monitoring the situation and working with the CMPD on the case.
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