BOULDER, Colo. (CBS4)– An attack on a transgender man in Boulder will be prosecuted as a hate crime.
Paul Wettengel has been charged with third-degree assault and a bias-motivated crime after police said he punched and groped a man who was transgender. Police said Wettengel also called the man derogatory names.
The attack happened in April at a bus stop on 28th Street.
Police said Wettengel had been drinking and had threatened another man when the victim stepped in.
People in the transgender community say they are saddened by the attack but not shocked.
“We talk about Boulder being this utopia and I have conversations with people a lot, that it’s not. Because I get to hear the everyday stories of people who walk through our door here at the pride house and who have experienced violence, who are facing discrimination on a regular basis because of who they are,” said Mardi Moore, Executive Director of Out Boulder.
The additional charge of bias-motivated crime could result in the suspect receiving a felony conviction and prison time.