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Los Angeles police slam 'callous' witnesses who filmed attack on 3 transgender women

Police said that during the attack one of the suspects made derogatory comments about the women. The assault was captured on video by onlookers, who can be heard jeering and laughing.

A Los Angeles police official slammed what he called "callous" onlookers who filmed a violent attack on three transgender women rather than trying to help the victims.

Joslyn Allen, Jaslene Busanet and Eden Estrada were attacked in Hollywood around 2:15 a.m. Monday.

The primary male suspect was identified by police as Carlton Callway, 29.

Callway was arrested for assault with a deadly weapon with a hate crime enhancement, the Los Angeles Police Department said. It was unclear Friday if he was still in custody.

A second suspect, Willie Walker, 42, was arrested for extortion, police said. He was released on his own recognizance. Police said they are still searching for a third suspect, Davion Williams.

The LAPD did not explain the specific allegations against Walker or Williams in the incident.

Prior to the assault, Callway approached the women and offered to buy them items from a nearby store, according to police.

"The suspect refused to pay for their merchandise and the victims left," police said in a press release referring to Callway. "Later, the suspect approached one of the victims with a metal bar and demanded her shoes and bracelet. In fear, the victim complied, the suspect grabbed her by the hand, and they walked together for a short distance before she was able to escape."

"A short time later, the suspect assaulted one of the original victim's friends with a bottle and knocked her to the ground," the press release said.

During the attack Callway made derogatory comments about the women, police said.

The assault was captured on video by onlookers who can be heard in it jeering and laughing. The video, which contains profanity and disturbing images, was posted by Estrada to her Instagram account with her written narrative.

The video did not appear to capture the events that police said occurred prior to the assault.

At one point in the video, one of the victims appears to be comforting her friend on the ground as she asks why no one at the scene was calling police.

"What was particularly callous about these crimes was the actions of the onlookers," Los Angeles police deputy chief Justin Eisenberg said at a news conference Thursday.

Los Angeles City Councilman Mitch O’Farrell said at the press conference that to see the attack celebrated was "like a sucker punch to all of us who believe in civilized behavior and humane treatment of one another."

The LAPD police chief, Michel Moore, said in a Twitter video message about the assault that "these types of instances of hate and violence have no place in Los Angeles."

“The Los Angeles Police Department stands fully in support of your rights, your dignity and respect each of you as individuals," he said. "And we will not allow this to occur here, and we will do everything within our power to ensure that it does not.”

Image: Joslyn Allen, Jaslene Busanet, Eden Estrada
Joslyn Allen, left, Jaslene Busanet, and Eden Estrada.edenthedoll / via Instagram

NBC News was unable to reach any of the three suspects Friday. It was not clear if they had obtained attorneys.

The three victims could not immediately be reached Friday. Busanet addressed the attack in a tearful Instagram Live video.

"I was attacked on Hollywood Boulevard. I got hit in the back of my f---ing head with a bottle because I was trans," she said. "When I got hit, I fell to the floor and a bunch of people crowded around me and you know what they did? Did anyone call 911? ... Nobody called 911."

"When I got hit in the back of my f---ing head, and I fell to the ground, do you know what people did? Everyone crowded around me, laughing at me, recording me, telling me I deserved that," she said in tears.

Estrada, who has a large following on YouTube, wrote on Instagram, "I'm completely traumatized this is the scariest moment of my life."