ANDERSON — The Madison County prosecutor has decided not to file charges against a woman who reportedly punched a transgender man on Saturday morning.
On Thursday, Prosecutor Rodney Cummings said he came to his conclusion based on video surveillance evidence from Big Baby's Bar and Grill, where the incident happened. He said the evidence shows the alleged assailant could have been acting in self-defense.
Cummings' decision removes the Class C felony battery charge filed initially against 44-year-old Dawn Taliaferro, who could be seen punching the man in the video. Taliaferro has said she was retaliating against the man, who was making unwanted sexual advances on her throughout the night. She said she finally had enough and attacked the man.
The 50-year-old man, who is still transitioning from being a woman to a man, said he requires surgery on the shattered bones around his eyes. He said his jaw is out of alignment as a result of the attack.
According to accounts of the incident and the surveillance video, Taliaferro and the man were at the bar from about 10 p.m. to 3:30 a.m. Throughout the night, the two were sitting near each other with a few people sitting between them at various times.
At about 3 a.m., the footage appeared to show Taliaferro speaking in the man’s direction, but it’s unclear if she was speaking to the man, Cummings said. The man then walked to Taliaferro and stood next to her at the bar for several seconds. The two then had a brief physical scuffle, the man made a swing at Taliaferro, and then he walked back to his seat, Cummings described.
A few seconds later, Taliaferro got up from her seat and appeared to punch the right side of the man’s face, sending him tumbling to the floor. Taliaferro walked back to her seat and stayed there until the bar closed.