Woman attacked by neighbors; family believes it was hate crime, warns LGBTQ community

A woman is speaking out after being brutally attacked outside her home. Seattle Police say they arrested two men for assault on Tuesday around 9:45 p.m. The case is under investigation.

Shilo Thorp, 27, says the people who attacked her are her neighbors. Thorp said when they were released, they came back to the apartment complex, mocking and making fun of her. She's fearful for her family's safety, but has chosen to share her story to shed light on the tough situations the LGBTQ community is facing."

"I've always known that something was different," Thorp said.

Thorp, has identified as nonbinary for a couple years, but a voice inside her was telling her there was something more.

"I tried saying I’m a woman, and I’d like to live my life as a woman in my head, saying that and seeing how I felt, and it felt very good," Thorp said.

She started embracing who she really is last year, and with the support of her wife Scarlett Hendrickson, she started her transition.

"I knew there would be issues, but I thought it’d be the issues we’ve faced – screams from cars, someone stole a flag," Hendrickson said.

The couple started facing harsh situations closer to home. Their biggest issue was "phobia, transphobia," according to Hendrickson, who says it started with tough and personal questions coming from neighbors. The situation escalated. 

Hendrickson says that about a month ago, she walked into her apartment after thorp had left for work, and she found a man in his 20s standing inside.

Hendrick said the issue was "because our toddler has tantrums… because she’s a toddler."

This isn't the first time this has happened. About two weeks ago, there was another break-in. 

The new mom to twins bought a bar to block the door in order to prevent her neighbors from barging in like the last time. It was already a tense situation, and the couple had been fearful for weeks. On Tuesday, their worst fears became a reality.

"I start hearing really loud crashing noises, like things falling and breaking, and I didn’t think anything of it," Thorp said.

Thorp says she believes her neighbors broke into her house, and threw their stroller, car seat, shoes and 2-year-old daughters' toys off the balcony. Police were called on them for throwing trash. 

When she started looking through all of her belongings on the ground, she started to question her neighbors who also outside. She says one of them immediately became confrontational.

"At one point, the blonde guy smacks my face, and then he’s like 'come on, let's do something about it,'" Thorp recounted. She says she slapped him back, and he unleashed on her. "The blonde guy picked me up and slammed me into the ground, and I was just in the fetal position trying to block everything. I didn’t see everything, but apparently they were kicking me. It was just over and over and over again, calling me the F slur."

Hendrickson witnessed the assault from their third-story window their daughter in her arms. She said she called 911 and the two men immediately jumped inside their car and sped off – leaving her wife outside their apartment complex beaten. 

"I wasn’t remotely scared of men before, and I am now. Just randoms – I don’t trust anybody," Thorp said. "I just hate that she has to learn that part of being a woman, because we all know what it's like to be afraid of men," Hendrickson said.

The Seattle Police Department told FOX 13 the case is listed as an assault. However, a detective is still working on getting charging documents to the King County Prosecuting Attorney's Office.

Hendrickson says she's puzzled as to why the men were released in the first place, and how the case is being handled.

"The judge released them. He's not calling it a hate crime, because they broke into my house and that wasn’t motivated by hate, so because there was history, they can’t call this a hate crime," Hendrickson said.

The couple says this incident has impacted their lives. Thorp says she's now feeling more reserved about her transition – backing away from the progress she has made in becoming her true self. However, she says she will continue to push through the hardship for her family.

For members of the LGBTQ community, Thorp has a message: 

"Be vigilant. Obviously still be yourself. Don’t ever hide who you are."

The men have allegedly moved out of the complex on their own accord, but management has also filed the necessary paperwork to formally evict them. The only issue is, it will take 30 days for a trespass order to go into effect if they should ever return. For the time being, the family is remaining hopeful and vigilant. 

Their goal is to help raise enough funds to find a safer living environment for them and their three daughters. You can help by donating to their GoFundMe