Nikita Dragun Arrested, Misgendered in Miami

Influencer Nikita Dragun was arrested on Monday after officers responded to a call about a guest at The Goodtime Hotel acting disorderly. The Miami-Dade County Clerk’s Office states that Dragun was charged with felony battery, a misdemeanor for disorderly conduct, and a violation of a municipal ordinance. NBC News reports that the felony charge was for an assault on a police officer. Information on the clerk’s office website shows that when Dragun was processed, she was misgendered and booked as a male.

The 26-year-old content creator, who is transgender, became popular in the beauty YouTube space in 2015. Since then, her candor about her transition and popular makeup videos have helped her to amass a following of more than 29 million combined followers on social platforms including TikTok, YouTube, Twitter, and Instagram. Last year, Dragun revealed her struggles with her mental health to her followers on social media. The beauty influencer uploaded a post to Instagram in which she said that she was involuntarily committed to a psychiatric facility for eight days following a manic episode on Thanksgiving Day. She then uploaded a YouTube video—which has since been deleted—in May, where she revealed she had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder.

Nikita Dragun Arrested, Misgendered in Miami

The County Clerk’s website reports that Dragun was released after paying her bond and has a court date set for Dec. 7. A representative for Dragun told TIME in an emailed statement, “The situation with Nikita, who is legally female, being placed in a men’s unit of a Florida jail is extremely disturbing and dangerous. This decision made by the Miami-Dade County Corrections Department directly violates their protocol, which mandates that transgender inmates are classified and housed based on safety needs and gender identity. Nikita has been released and is now safe. Thank you for respecting her privacy during this time.”

News of her arrest prompted her name to begin trending on Twitter, with over 31,000 tweets at the time of publication. Here’s everything we know about her arrest.

Why was Dragun arrested?

According to NBC, the affidavit says police responded to a 911 call about a disorderly guest, and the security guards at the hotel told police that she was “causing a disturbance” and “walking around the pool area unclothed.” It also says that she threw water at a hotel staff member.

Dragun returned to her room, but she was still causing a disturbance with loud music, the affidavit says. The police knocked on the door and warned her that she would be escorted off the property. But then, the affidavit continues, Dragun flung an open water bottle toward the officers and the hotel staff, wetting one of the officers.

NBC News reports that after her arrest she was taken to Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center, where she was processed, and her bail was set at $2,000. After the news of her arrest was made public, Twitter users began sharing videos presumably from Dragun’s hearing that occurred on Tuesday morning. The short video shows a teary-eyed Dragun asking the judge, “Do I have to stay here in the men’s unit [still]?” To which the judge replies, “Yeah, I don’t make the rules up there…” before the video cuts off.

NBC News Tech and Culture Reporter Kat Tenbarge uploaded screenshots of the affidavit, which misgendered Dragun multiple times, to Twitter. “The above listed individual appears as a female, but would like to be recognized as male,” the screenshot shows, in a confusing passage given Dragun’s questions about being remanded to a men’s unit. The affidavit uses he/him pronouns when referring to Dragun as the defendant.


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