This article first appeared in The Advocate.
A transgender man camping in Ohio was arrested for disorderly conduct after he claims he was assaulted by a group of men for using the women’s restroom on July 3.
Noah Ruiz, 20, told local Fox affiliate WXIX he was using the women’s restroom at the Cross’s Campground in Camden at the direction of the camp owner, Rick Cross, when a woman camper became very upset.
“She was like, ‘No man should be in this bathroom. Like, if you’re a man you need to use a man’s bathroom,’” Ruiz told the outlet. “And I was like, ‘I’m transgender. Like, I have woman body parts, and I was told to use this bathroom.’”
As he and his girlfriend left the bathroom, Ruiz said he was jumped by three large men who lifted him off the ground and choked him out, all the while using anti-LGBTQ+ slurs and threatening to kill him.
“They said, ‘I’ll kill you, you [expletive],” Noah recalled. “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 said the attack left him bruised with multiple cuts and gashes to his face, head, and body.
But when deputies from the Preble County Sheriff arrived on the scene, they arrested Ruiz rather than his alleged assailants.
“When they arrived, deputies weren’t aware of an assault,” Preble County Sheriff Michael Simpson told WXIX. “There was a large crowd gathering and Ruiz was highly intoxicated and was becoming belligerent.”
Jennifer Ruiz, Noah’s mother, admitted her son was upset when police arrived on the scene, but said he went into “defense mode” after the assault.
“No one was listening to him,” she told WXIX. “So Noah did then get out of hand, and he admits to his part of getting out of hand, from screaming, yelling,”
Ruiz was later able to file an official assault report with the Preble County Sheriff, who is investigating the case to determine if charges will be filed against the three men Ruiz claimed attacked him. Their first order of business is identifying the men allegedly responsible for the assault.
Both mother and son made clear they expect justice to be served in this case.
“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 Ruiz said.
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