DC woman attacked with bar stool at Player's Lounge in possible hate crime, police say

A woman was struck with a bar stool inside a Southeast D.C. restaurant last week, and police say they are now investigating if the attack was motivated by hate and bias. 

The assault took place on Wednesday, Aug. 3, at The Player's Lounge, located at 2737 Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue SE. 

According to a D.C. police report, the victim — identified as Aiyi'nah Ford — told officers that she was talking to a friend of hers at the bar when a frequent patron interrupted the conversation and began cursing at her. 

As the verbal altercation escalated, Ford said the man started to attack her with a bar stool. Other customers broke up the scuffle and the suspect fled the restaurant. 

When officers arrived at The Player's Lounge, Ford was already being treated by D.C. Fire and EMS. 

The Player's Lounge released a statement after the incident saying they do not condone violence. 

"We at Players had a very sad incident on Wednesday night. We are mostly family here and we look out for each other," the statement reads. "We are so sorry for what happened and hope she will be ok. We are still trying to sort out the details of what happened but we know that no one here would support gay bashing or any type of violence. We are handling it on our end. If there is anything we can do we are here."  

D.C. Councilmember Trayon White also released a statement.

"I am aware that a physical altercation occurred at Georgena's that left Aiyi'nah Ford, a woman from our community, injured. Several accounts of the incident have been communicated to my staff and me," White stated. "I do not condone this type of behavior or violence. We are in a time where we have to have unity or be nonexistent. The violence in our city is escalating because of the lack of love and understanding. I hope to bring reconciliation and healing to these situations and families. I stand to protect all residents, especially our black women. Lastly, I wish Aiyi'nah Ford a speedy recovery following this incident."