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Washington Blade: Gay News, Politics, LGBT Rights: Troubled client arrested for smashing Casa Ruby window

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A client smashed a window at Casa Ruby on Nov. 11. (Washington Blade file photo by Michael Key)

D.C. police on Nov. 11 arrested a 22-year-old transgender woman on a charge of destruction of property for allegedly smashing a large plate glass window near the entrance of the Casa Ruby LGBTQ community services center, according to a police incident report.

The police report and an arrest affidavit filed in D.C. Superior Court state that the woman, identified as Skyler Collins of no fixed address, became angry after being told she had to leave the premises at Casa Ruby and could not immediately return.

Ruby Corado, founder and executive director of Casa Ruby, said Collins was a client at the Casa Ruby shelter for homeless youth, which is located at the main Casa Ruby facility at 7530 Georgia Ave., N.W. Corado said shortly after coming to the shelter Collins began engaging in “violent behavior” and made threats toward other clients at the shelter, prompting the staff to issue what Corado calls a “time out,” which is a temporary requirement that someone leave the facility.

“Suspect 1 did not receive this well and began to knock papers and items off of tables as well as pushing a table down a flight of steps,” the police report says. The report says the suspect, later identified as Collins, walked out of the Casa Ruby building and picked up a large metal pole from the parking lot “and threw it through the front plate glass window.”

The arrest affidavit says Collins remained on the scene and when D.C. police arrived admitted to police that she smashed the window “because it made me feel great.” Officers charged her with destruction of property valued at more than $1,000 and brought her to the Fourth Police District for booking, the police report says.

Court records show she was held overnight before appearing in court on Nov. 12 for an arraignment, where she pleaded not guilty to a revised charge filed by the U.S. Attorney’s Office of misdemeanor destruction of property valued at $1,000 less. Judge Jonathan Pittman ordered her released on personal recognizance pending an April 15, 2021 status hearing. The judge also issued a “stay away” order, but the public court record doesn’t disclose further details of the order.

Corado, who wrote about the incident in a Facebook posting, told the Washington Blade Collins had been suffering from trauma associated with being subjected to hostility and bias related to her status as a transgender woman.

“She refused to see our psychologist,” Corado said. “We gave her a referral to another shelter,” said Corado, who added that the staff told Collins she could come back to Casa Ruby after she reconsidered her inappropriate behavior, including the smashing of the window that Corado said was captured on a Casa Ruby video surveillance camera.

“We need this to be a safe place,” said Corado. “When youth sometimes display violent behavior we have to take action. I don’t tolerate violence. So we give them a time out.”

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Washington Blade: Gay News, Politics, LGBT Rights