Casa Ruby, DC. LGBT Community Center attacker arrested
by Lou Chibbaro Jr.
Police arrested Andrew Cook on Monday.
D.C. police on Monday arrested a male suspect who allegedly smashed through the front door, assaulted an employee, and threatened
to return to kill someone early Sunday afternoon at Casa Ruby, the LGBT community services center on Georgia Avenue, N.W.
Acting Police Lt. Brett Parson, who oversees the department’s LGBT Liaison Unit, said officers investigating the case arrested Andrew
Cook in the Seventh Police District on Monday. Parson said police planned to release a statement shortly providing information about
Cook, including the offense or offenses he was charged with.
Parson said that at the time police investigators responded to the Casa Ruby offices at 2822 Georgia Ave., N.W. on Sunday police listed
the offenses Cook committed, based on interviews with witnesses, as misdemeanor assault, felony destruction of property, and felony
threats to kill.
Cook, who was described by Casa Ruby employees as being in his early 20s, was being held in jail Monday night following his arrest. He
was expected to appear in court Tuesday morning for a presentment hearing, where prosecutors with the U.S. Attorney’s office were
expected to present formal charges against him.
Casa Ruby’s founder and executive director, Ruby Corado, told the Washington Blade on Sunday night that Cook had been an occasional
visitor to Casa Ruby over the past several weeks and was known to employees and some clients.
According to Corado, he identified as being straight and had expressed interest in meeting transgender women who go to Casa Ruby for
various services. Corado said staff members reported that Cook became violent on Sunday after one of the staff members ordered him to
leave because he was harassing clients.
Shortly after leaving, he returned with a large stone or brick and used it to
smash open Casa Ruby’s front door, which a staff member had locked after
initially persuading Cook to leave, Corado said. Once inside, he assaulted the
staff member who asked him to leave during his earlier visit and threw objects
at the staff member. Before leaving after being told the staff had called police,
Cook allegedly threatened to return again to kill someone at the community
“Whatever his motive, he had no right to become violent and destroy our property,” Corado told the Blade. “He did not come for services.
He came to prey on people.”
Coming on the heels of the release last week of the city’s annual hate crime report showing that reported hate crimes against
transgender people in D.C. increased by 90 percent in 2016, Corado said Cook’s alleged attack and threats against Casa Ruby became
a traumatic experience for her and the staff and clients.
“We worked so hard to make this place a safe space for our transgender community,” said Corado. “And now this happens.”
Vandalismo contra centro LGBT en Washington
por Divalizeth Murillo
Entre lágrimas y sin poder contenerse, Ruby Corado, directora de la agencia LGBT Casa Ruby, uno de los centros de atención más
grandes para los hispanos en el área metropolitana de Washington, relataba a más de 5 mil personas a través de su Facebook, cómo
este domingo en las horas de la tarde, un hombre entró a las instalaciones de su centro destruyendo y quebrando los inmuebles,
incluso agrediendo a una de las personas de la institución.
La directora dijo a MundoHispánico, que esta es la tercera vez en dos semanas que ingresan violentamente al centro, y que horas
después del último incidente, el Director Encargado de la Policia, Peter Newsham, llegó a reportar el incidente, lo que para ella no
brinda ninguna seguridad contra los crímenes de odio hacia la comunidad LGBT en Washington.
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