CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Charlotte Area Transit System (CATS) has released surveillance video of a brutal beating that took place on one of their buses earlier in April.
A Charlotte man was charged with aggravated assault after he was accused of beating a transgender woman on the bus. Cellphone video of the attack was posted on social media several days after the incident and went viral.
The attack happened early in the morning on Saturday, April 7, on a CATS bus along the 400-block of N Tryon Street. The 24-year-old victim, who goes by Jayla Ware, was taken to Presbyterian Hospital to be treated for her injuries, which included a broken jaw.
Graphic video was posted to Facebook showing a man, later identified as Roy Eugene-Lav Hedman, hitting and kicking Ware in the head multiple times. The video was shared thousands of times before being removed from the social network.
The surveillance video released by CATS shows Hedman and Ware engaged in an argument on the bus before Ware stands up and moves toward Hedman.
Hedman then stands up and attacks Ware. He can be seen in the video violently punching her in the head more than two dozen times. He then repeatedly stomps her in the head with his boots at least twelve times.
**WARNING: The video below is very graphic. Viewer discretion is advised.
When the beating appears to be over, everyone exits the bus. However, seconds later, Hedman is seen running back onto the bus and kicking Ware one last time before again leaving.
An officer was then reportedly flagged down by a man who witnessed the attack, telling the officer that the victim was punched and kicked in the face by a man on the bus.
Within about two minutes, police are seen getting on the bus as Ware is getting up.
According to officials, police began searching the area immediately for Hedman. He was located and arrested a short distance away from where the incident occurred.
WBTV spoke to Ware the following Thursday. She said Hedman was a friend, and that she has known him for some time. She said Hedman's sister even visited her after the attack.
She said others have also reached out to her.
"I'm glad that a lot of people really have stepped up... tried to reach out to me," she said. "And I thank God, because, if anything - I could have been dead."
Charlotte Area Transit released a statement to WBTV about the assault that states, in part:
"Safety protocols and procedures were followed. All CATS vehicles have several security cameras used to help ensure the safety of our customers and employees [...] The suspect has been banned from all CATS property and vehicles for one year. CATS urges customers to report any and all criminal activity by calling 911 or using the CATS See Say app."