A transgender man in Ohio says he was using the women’s restroom in a Preble County campground—which he was advised to do because he was assigned female at birth—when a group of men savagely beat him and was later arrested.
“I have bruises on the back of my head from being punched in the back of the head,” Ruiz said Friday.
It happened July 3 at Cross’s Campground in Camden, Ruiz says, adding that he recalls going to the women’s restroom when a woman in the stall became upset.
“I was using the bathroom, and she just started shouting. She was like, ‘Who the [expletive] is in here?’ And I replied, ‘I am.’ My girlfriend replied, ‘I am as well.’ She was like, ‘No man should be in this bathroom. Like, if you’re a man you need to use a man’s bathroom.’ And I was like, ‘I’m transgender. Like, I have woman body parts, and I was told to use this bathroom,’” Ruiz recalled.
He says as he was walking out, three large men approached him and began beating him.
“They, like, grabbed me up off the ground. They choked me out. They said, ‘I’ll kill you, you [expletive] doing all this.’ And I said, ‘Dude, I’m not, I’m using the right bathroom. Rick Cross, the owner of this establishment, told me to use the bathroom. I’m following the rules,’” Ruiz explained.
In the end, Ruiz was left with several cuts and gashes across his body in addition to the bruising.
When Preble County sheriff’s deputies eventually showed up, they arrested Ruiz for disorderly conduct and obstructing official business.
Preble County Sheriff Michael Simpson says the deputies weren’t initially aware of the assault, that a large crowd had gathered, and claimed Ruiz was highly intoxicated and that he was becoming belligerent.
“Noah was so upset at the time, he was trying to explain what has happened, and no one was listening to him. So Noah did then get out of hand, and he admits to his part of getting out of hand, from screaming, yelling. He was in defense mode, and when police got there, they didn’t listen to him. They just immediately started shoving him to the ground and doing what they needed to do,” said Ruiz’s mother, Jennifer Ruiz.
It was only after Ruiz’s arrest that he was able to file an assault report with the sheriff’s office. He says he wants the men held accountable for their actions.
“I feel like something does need to be done to the people who hit him, and the police need to take charges against them for hitting him,” Jennifer said.
Jennifer claims the men repeatedly called Ruiz a homophobic slur.
“That’s not safety, and I worry for the other ones that are there. If we don’t do something about it, who is going to do something about it?” Jennifer said.