One of two Compton men charged with an Aug. 17 attack on YouTube performer Eden the Doll and two other transgender women in Hollywood pleaded not guilty Thursday to assault and other charges.
Carlton Alexander Callaway, 29, is charged with one felony count each of assault by means of force likely to produce great bodily injury, battery with serious bodily injury, second-degree robbery, attempted second-degree robbery, criminal threats and grand theft from the person of another, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office. He could face up to 13 years and four months in state prison if convicted as charged.
Co-defendant Davion Anthony Williams, 22, is charged with one felony count each of assault with a deadly weapon — a rideshare scooter — and grand theft. An arraignment date has not been set for Williams, who could face a maximum of eight years and four months in state prison if convicted.
The criminal complaint includes an allegation that Callaway used a steel rod as a deadly and dangerous weapon, along with hatecrime allegations against both defendants.
Callaway was initially arrested Aug. 20 by the Los Angeles Police Department’s Hollywood Division and released from custody Aug. 25 after the District Attorney’s Office asked police to further investigate the attack. He was subsequently re-arrested Wednesday by the LAPD’s Robbery-Homicide Division and was being held in lieu of $325,000 bail.
Callaway allegedly befriended the three victims and later assaulted them near Hollywood Boulevard and Wilcox Avenue, according to Deputy District Attorney Richard Ceballos.
Williams, who has not yet been arrested, allegedly joined the attack and stole from one of the women, according to the prosecutor.
Eden Estrada — whose online persona is Eden the Doll — was waiting for an Uber with Joslyn Flawless and Jaslene Whiterose at about 2:15 a.m. when Callaway approached them, according to the victims’ social media posts and the LAPD. He allegedly offered to buy them merchandise at a store in the 6500 block of Hollywood Boulevard, near Wilcox Avenue, but refused to pay and the women left, police said.
Callaway allegedly approached them again with a metal bar and demanded one of the women’s shoes and bracelet. She complied out of fear, and the suspect grabbed her hand and forced her to walk a short distance with him before she could escape, police said.
He then allegedly assaulted a second victim with a bottle, knocking her to the ground.
“He held a crow bar to my face and threatened to kill me unless I stripped my shoes off and gave him my jewelry and all my (possessions),” Joslyn Flawless wrote on Instagram. “He said if I was trans, he would kill me. He then forced me to hold his hand while he looks for my friends to kill them for being trans.”
The victims said their phones, wallets and purses were taken.
Estrada said in a social media post that bystanders walked past the victims and did not stop to help, and some witnesses are seen on video laughing at the women.
“To see this level of violence celebrated gleefully, so much so the perpetrator himself posted it on social media, it’s like a sucker-punch to all of us who believe in civilized behavior,” Los Angeles City Councilman Mitch O’Farrell said during a news conference last month.
Video footage posted on social media also shows an LAPD vehicle driving by and not stopping.
Members of the public asked LAPD officials during a Los Angeles Police Commission meeting last week why an officer drove by without stopping. Chief Michel Moore told the commission that the incident and the department’s response were being reviewed.