Meet Paul Wettengel, Accused of Attack and Groping of Transgender Man

Paul Wettengel, 45, has been charged with assault and bias-motivated crime regarding an attack on a transgender man at a Boulder bus stop.

It's a disturbing story that demonstrates the challenges that members of the transgender community continue to face simply for being themselves.

A report about the incident in the Boulder Daily Camera describes Wettengel as a transient,

However, he has a fairly active Facebook page featuring multiple photos of himself in a common location: a room whose walls are covered with flirty pin-ups.

As for pics of Wettengel himself, they focus on his incredibly bulky and muscular physique and prominent tattoos. Here's one example....

...and another.... well as an image that makes him look as if he's burst into flame:

In addition, there's a notable text post from February that reads in part, "I'm just working through some soul searching as u could call it but mostly this sober shit bores the f out of me! Ha Ha . Don't worry im fine! Almost a year here already next month 25th. Got some choices to make. And my choices don't come with a great record as we already know LOL!"

There was no laughing out loud in the wake of Wettengel's arrest, which took place after an April 13 disturbance at a Boulder bus stop on the 1600 block of 28th Street.

According to the Boulder Police Department, a 21-year-old trangender person who identifies as male was waiting for the bus when he saw Wettengel shove an unknown male who'd asked him for a lighter.

The transgender man tried to break up the fight, the cops continue — but Wettengel allegedly responded by punching him in the face, grabbing his breasts and stomach and "calling the victim derogatory names related to homosexuality and the fact that the victim is transgender," the BPD states.

The transgender man was able to escape and call police, who soon rounded up Wettengel. An arrest affidavit quoted by the Camera notes that he appeared to be intoxicated and had a bottle of vodka on his person.

Wettengel was arrested on suspicion of third-degree assault, but that's not all. The BPD reveals that the Boulder County District Attorney's office is also charging him with bias-motivated crime causing bodily injury.

Here's a look at Wettengel's booking photo, followed by a CBS4 report.

Send your story tips to the author, Michael Roberts.
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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts

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