UPDATE: 6:30 pdt: I have received an official press release from the San Diego Harbor Unified District Police that a man has been arrested in connection with this incident. The statement reads:
Harbor Police arrested a 29-year-old man early Sunday morning, July 27th in a hotel at 333 West Harbor Drive. He was booked into San Diego County Jail at 11:20 am on charges of sexual contact with a minor and contributing to the delinquency of minor. The victim, a juvenile female, was transported to a hospital for evaluation and treatment. The Harbor Police Investigations Unit is handling the incident. This investigation is ongoing.
Since the victim is a minor, her privacy and that of her family should be respected.
UPDATE 2:20 pdt: This is still under investigation. Still no confirmation that a police report was ever filed.
With Comic-Con winding up there has been a smattering of word on Tumblr and Reddit about a young female cosplayer dressed as Roger Rabbit being attacked and left bleeding by the side of the road. Although details remain sketchy, after speaking with the girl’s parents, I have ascertained that it is unfortunately true.
The SDPD is currently investigating the crime. I have removed the names from this, but if you have any more information, please do not contact the family directly. Call the San Diego Police Department at (619) 531-2000. I repeat, DO NOT CALL THE FAMILY. Several people have already spoken with them and with their daughter in the hospital they do not need any more distress fielding phone calls.
According to the girl’s mother, her injuries are severe, and indicate a vicious beating. Here is the account of what occurred from Tumblr:
IF YOU WENT TO SAN DIEGO COMIC CON OR KNOW ANYONE WHO HAS, PLEASE READ.
One of my dearest friends was found on the side of the road, unconscious and bloody. She was wearing this cosplay on the day it happened. She was last seen with friends when she ran off after a disagreement. Please, please, please, if you have ANY information or saw her anywhere, contact her mother. The full information is down below. This isn’t okay and it’s sickening to know that this happened at a place people truly can enjoy themselves. Please spread the word.
”I just received a call from the San Diego Police Department and my daughter REDACTED aka REDACTED was found on the side of the road covered in blood with no ID unconscious. They are unsure what happened to her. My husband is on his way to the police station and then the hospital. If you have any information on what happened to her please send me a facebook message or call me at REDACTED. Thank you in advance”. -REDACTED
Obviously this crime is going to be added to the current discussion of all the issues regarding Comic-Con, harassment, cosplay, crowds and more. It’s a stark and heartbreaking reminder that even if Comic-Con is a wonderful fantasy world brought to life, there are real life predators out there. Have fun but play safe and sane. My heart goes out to this girl, who was an experienced cosplayed who had recently been to Anime Expo, and her family. Her mother says it was her dream to go to Comic-Con. Let’s hope that her attackers are caught and when she’s recovered she can come back in style as a heroine.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.