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A Look Into the Trans Activist Couple Arrested for Assaulting a GOP Lawmaker and Police

Townhall Media

A pair of transgender activists are facing assault charges for attacking a GOP lawmaker and a state trooper at the Oklahoma state Capitol after the state's House of Representatives passed legislation that would ban "gender-transition procedures" from being performed on children in the Republican-led Sooner State, according to court documents Townhall has obtained via public records requests.

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20-year-old Savanna Grace Mitchell—a five-foot, three-inch biological female identifying as a transgender man—and 21-year-old Austin Allen Ross—a six-foot, one-inch biological male identifying as a transgender woman—are lovers and apparent partners in crime. Mitchell, who goes by the trans moniker "Devyn," and Ross, who uses the trans alias "Ari," were among the triggered transgender activists and allies that were protesting H.B. 2177, a bill prohibiting healthcare professionals from providing or attempting to provide a referral for puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones, and "gender-reassignment surgeries" to minors.

Oklahoma legislators were debating the bill on the House floor when multiple outbursts from the gallery, which consisted of enraged pink-, blue-, red-, and purple-haired (mostly masked) pro-LGBTQ protestors, led to chaos in the Capitol. After the bill's 80 - 18 passage in the House, a violent scuffle ensued. (The measure now moves to the state Senate for further consideration.)

As legislators were exiting the House chamber post-vote, Mitchell was filmed hurling water at 65-year-old GOP state Rep. Bob Ed Culver, Jr. in a vengeful attack. Mitchell was swiftly pursued down two-and-a-half flights of stairs where, on a landing in the Capitol's southwest stairwell, the screaming trans suspect swung and slapped a responding Oklahoma Highway Patrol trooper.

"Get the f*ck off of me!" yelled Mitchell, draped in a rainbow Pride banner with the text "EQUALITY" emblazoned on it. Striking the arresting officer, Mitchell screeched: "Be f*cking nice! Respect me!" Amid the commotion, Mitchell's paramour, Ross, was "interfering" and trying to de-arrest Mitchell by grabbing the trooper's wrists in a failed attempt to free the fellow trans activist.

"I want to go home with my husband!" Ross, wearing the transgender Pride flag as a cape and donning animal-print pants, shouted repeatedly. A probable cause affidavit alleges that Mitchell was "actively not complying" with the trooper's command to stop while Ross was "physically blocking" the officer by pushing on the trooper's chest and clutching his vest to hold him back.

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Probable cause affidavit naming Mitchell and Ross | Oklahoma County District Court

The trooper was able to close the distance on Mitchell and administer an "arm bar takedown." Flailing on the floor, Mitchell reached up to grab the trooper's face, the affidavit says, and gripped the officer's handcuffs to prevent being placed in restraints.

"Help! Help! Help! Somebody help! We need help!" Ross cried out. Another patrolman arrived on the scene and stated: "You got help. We're right here." Ross, perched on the nearby steps as the initial trooper wrestled Mitchell to the ground and handcuffed the trans suspect, retorted, "You are not my help. You are someone trying to suppress us! You are actively suppressing us!"


Probable cause affidavit (continued) | Oklahoma County District Court

"They won't stop!" Mitchell shrieked. "Be f*cking gentle with me. I swear to God." Mitchell attempted to toss a set of keys to Ross, but the lanyard struck a woman involved in de-escalating the situation. "I'm sorry. That's not you. That's for my girlfriend," Mitchell apologized, before being escorted out of the west entrance and transported to the Oklahoma County Detention Center (OCDC).

KFOR photojournalist Kevin Josefy caught more of the altercation on camera, showing the moment when Mitchell poured the liquid on Culver from behind and when Mitchell told the first trooper: "It's just water, my buddy. I'm just going to leave, so get the f*ck off of me." KFOR's video also captured Mitchell complaining of arm pain prior to processing, "but no injury was observed," police affidavit statements report. At the county jail, Mitchell was checked again for bodily injuries and cleared fit for incarceration.


Mitchell's mugshot | Oklahoma County Detention Center

Culver, who stated that he and another state representative were hit with the water bottle's contents, decided to press charges against Mitchell. "If water had been the extent of the action taken, I would not have given it a second thought," Culver wrote in a press statement, adding: "However, I cannot stand by while our highway patrolmen are assaulted for simply doing their jobs."

Mitchell was booked on $10,000 bond for the charges of assault and battery on a police officer, assault and battery, and resisting an executive officer. The facility's director of communications told Townhall that Mitchell was released a day later on March 1.

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Mitchell's admissions sheet | Oklahoma County Detention Center

"Due to the limited number of manpower," Ross was not immediately placed under arrest for the offense of assaulting a peace officer, fled, and was located elsewhere in the Capitol building after some time and identified by other troopers, the criminal affidavit says, noting that out-of-custody charges were to be filed against Ross to the Oklahoma County District Attorney's office.

This week, it was revealed that Ross allegedly evaded law enforcement with the help of "non-binary" Democrat state Rep. Mauree Turner, who uses "they/them" pronouns. The revelation surfaced when, in an 81 - 19 vote Tuesday, the state's House of Representatives censured and stripped Turner of all committee assignments for "harboring a fugitive wanted for questioning."


Ross's mugshot | Oklahoma County Detention Center

Ross was the fugitive "obstructor" hidden inside Turner's office as the House Democrat "refused to let the troopers in," Oklahoma Highway Patrol trooper Eric Foster confirmed to Kay News Cow. After a discussion, Turner eventually opened the locked door.

House Speaker Charles McCall released a press statement on the matter, calling Turner's alleged actions "potentially criminal." 

It came to the attention of law enforcement that the individual [Ross] who fled was hiding in the official office of a member of the House. This member [Turner] knowingly, and willfully, impeded a law enforcement investigation, harboring a fugitive and repeatedly lying to officers, and used their official office and position to thwart attempts by law enforcement to make contact with a suspect of the investigation. I want to make something very clear: I will not allow members of the House of Representatives to use their House assigned offices and official positions to impede law enforcement from carrying out investigations or making arrests in the State Capitol.

In response to Townhall's inquiry questioning whether or not Turner's conduct could warrant criminal charges, McCall replied in an email statement, "Any criminal charges would have to come from the District Attorney in coordination with law enforcement."

"We do not anticipate any criminal charges to be filed against Representative Turner," the director of media operations at the Oklahoma Department of Public Safety told Townhall when asked about the likelihood of Turner being charged with a crime.

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Turner's profile picture on the official Oklahoma House of Representatives site

Turner, a self-described "Overall-Wearin' Badass" whose Instagram biography says "Not A Woman," told The 19th News that Ross's "spouse was just arrested," so the trans suspect wanted for assault came to the progressive lawmaker's officer "to process. That's what happened." Turner further claimed that the House office was not called about the search at any point, Instead, the House Democrat insisted, Turner reached out to security after someone knocked on the door alerting the office of police presence in the neighboring stairwells. "That was when they told me that they were looking for somebody," Turner said.

"Then I let folks get their affairs in order, because everyone was in agreeance that they were going to go ahead and turn themselves over," Turner continued. The fleeing suspect "needed time to write down emergency contact numbers, to consider bail options, and to process what being a trans person in an Oklahoma jail would be like," The 19th reports Turner stating.


Ross's mugshot | Kay County Detention Center


Ross's arrest warrant | Oklahoma County District Court

Oklahoma County authorities issued a warrant last week for Ross's arrest on a charge of assault and battery on a police officer, according to the March 2 filing. Early on Monday morning, Kay County Sheriff's Office and the Ponca City Police Department assisted Oklahoma Highway Patrol in apprehending Ross on the "criminal miscellaneous" charge filed in Oklahoma County.

Ross was booked into Kay County Detention Center, transferred to the OCDC, and released Tuesday on $5,000 bond.


Ross's admissions sheet | Oklahoma County Detention Center

Freedom Oklahoma, an LGBTQ advocacy organization, announced it is ensuring Mitchell has "access to bail support."

Downplaying the assault on Culver as an "emotional response" from Mitchell, the group argued in a Twitter thread that the legislature "directly attacked" the transgender activist's "ability to survive in this state" and, thus, it's "absurd to demand that marginalized people being attacked also respond within rules of decorum that were never meant to welcome us." The group also urged media coverage to "not enact the violence of deadnaming" Mitchell, as in using the trans suspect's legal name, Savanna.

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Oklahoma Trans Crowd Funding launched a GoFundMe page to collect money for Mitchell's legal aid. As of Friday, the legal fund has received over $13,700 out of its $15,000 goal, which was raised to "cover a better lawyer" and "longer-term legal needs."

Organizers have expanded the GoFundMe campaign to include covering costs for Ross's legal representation. "Mutual aid needs here have continued to rise," Thursday's update on the local trans community's GoFundMe page says. "The community members have expressed their sincerest gratitude to everyone involved in helping them out during this difficult time," the description states.

Ross was listed as the beneficiary for the "emergency" fundraiser, but the name was later changed to an anonymous title.


Savanna Mitchell (Facebook)

Although GoFundMe's Terms of Service stipulate that the crowdfunding platform cannot be used in a campaign to finance the legal defense of "violent crimes," the Big Tech site is often utilized to support suspects accused of far-left political violence.

The trans couple is being represented by Oklahoma-based criminal defense attorney Katie Jane Bourassa, a Biden-Harris supporter whose Facebook profile picture had President Joe Biden's presidential campaign graphic as a frame in the fall of 2020.


Katie Bourassa (Facebook)

Bourassa is also a vehement pro-abortion advocate and has offered to represent "for a reduced price" abortion-providers arrested and charged under S.B. 612, Oklahoma's near-total abortion ban, which makes performing an abortion in the state illegal, a felony punishable up to 10 years in prison plus a $100,000 fine, except for extreme cases where there is a medical emergency.

The pro-life law protecting unborn babies is an "abomination" and "disgusting," Bourassa wrote on Facebook.


Katie Bourassa (Facebook)

At the beginning of last month, Ross and Mitchell had joined hundreds of "Trans Lives Matter" protestors that reportedly "stormed" and occupied the Oklahoma State Capitol on Feb. 6 during Republican Gov. Kevin Stitt's State of the State address.

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"Don't just sit there. Do something to make a difference," Ross wrote in a Facebook post on the day of the "transurrection."


Ross's current Facebook profile picture

Ross has often posted about transgender activism and allyship on Facebook. In one Feb. 6 post, Ross quoted Lutheran pastor Martin Niemöller, whose confessional post-war poem spoke of the German people's complicity through collective silence in the Nazi imprisonment, persecution, and murder of millions. "Silence is compliance," declared Ross, seemingly comparing Oklahoma's proposed ban on the genital mutilation and chemical castration of children as well as young adults to the Holocaust.


Austin Ross (Facebook)

When a storm system produced an outbreak of tornadoes and severe weather across Oklahoma, Ross lashed out at anyone who may have called out of concern. "I don't understand how you can sit there and actively oppress me but call me to see if I'm safe because of a storm. Don't call me and say you love me but deadname me in the process," Ross wrote, referring to the usage of a birth name when a trans person has invented an alternative identity. "You are holding onto someone I'm not. Sorry for your loss."

Pictures of Mitchell taking testosterone injections are frequently posted to the trans activist's now-private Facebook account.


Savanna Mitchell (Facebook)

Mitchell's "female-to-male transition" is relatively new. Instagram posts from 2020 show that Mitchell was still identifying as Savanna or "Savage Savvy" back when the transgender activist was a student dual-enrolled in a premier technical college.


Savanna Mitchell's un-updated Instagram page


Savanna Mitchell's un-updated Twitter page

While gearing up for high school graduation, Mitchell was part of a select number of Texas students chosen to receive an ExxonMobil scholarship to attend the Lamar Institute of Technology (LIT). Mitchell and the other recipients were honored at the first-ever Career and Technical Education (CTE) signing day for two-year colleges in the Lone Star State, a historic celebration at the Texas Workforce Commission that kicked off with a reading of H.R. 241, which memorialized the event, on the House floor.

In a March 2020 edition of the LIT president's newsletter, Mitchell was spotlighted as a student "driven toward success." At the time, Mitchell planned on moving to Oklahoma and working at a Chevron plant in an occupational safety and health position.

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Savanna Mitchell (LinkedIn)

Mitchell is now "#OpenToWork," according to the trans suspect's LinkedIn page. "A large part of my identity is my gender marker. Crazy how a tiny written letter can mean so much, isn't it? I am transgender and this has molded and shaped me in more ways that I know. I have learned to be kind, compassionate, and to have thick skin. Some may not see this as a strength or weakness, but I am very proud of all the time and mental work I have put into becoming my true self," reads the activist's About section.


Savanna Mitchell (LinkedIn)

Mitchell, Ross, and Turner did not respond to Townhall's requests for comment.

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