- Nikita Dragun was arrested on Monday after throwing water at police officers and security guards.
- Dragun, a transgender woman, was then placed in a men’s unit, according to her reps.
- Authorities dispute the account, stating to Insider that they followed appropriate procedure.
Nikita Dragun, a popular beauty YouTuber and TikTok star, was arrested on Monday, according to TMZ. The outlet reported on Tuesday that Dragun, whose real name is Nikita Nguyen, was arrested at The Goodtime Hotel in Miami, Florida, after walking around the pool nude and throwing water at police officers and security guards.
The arrest affidavit, which Insider has seen, says on November 7 officers responded to reports of someone at the hotel being “extremely disorderly,” and playing loud music in their room. It states when hotel security and police officers knocked on her door, Dragun slammed it, and then swung “an open water bottle” at them. She was arrested on a felony assault charge, misdemeanor battery, and misdemeanor disorderly conduct.
Dragun was then taken to the Miami-Dade County’s Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center, where her representatives say she was placed in a men’s unit of the jail.
Dragun, who is a transgender woman, was identified on the arrest affidavit as “male.” In a video of Dragun’s appearance in the bond court, obtained by NBC South Florida, Judge Mindy S. Glazer asks Dragun which pronouns she wanted to be referred as, to which she responds “she and her.”
“Your honor, may I ask one question?” Dragun says through tears after her charges have been read out. “Do I have to stay here in the men’s unit still?”
The Judge responds by saying she doesn’t “make the rules up there” but tells Dragun to contact the Ombudsman “to try and get you out.”
In a statement to Insider, Dragun’s representative Jack Ketsoyan from Full Scope Public Relations said the situation was “extremely disturbing and dangerous.”
“The situation with Nikita, who is legally female, being placed in a men’s unit of a Florida jail is extremely disturbing and dangerous,” he said. “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.”
Miami-Dade Corrections and Rehabilitation Department disputed the reports that Dragun had been held in men’s unit, issuing a statement to Insider that it was “committed to protecting the rights of the transgender community and of all LGBTQ people” and followed appropriate procedures for intake of transgender persons while booking Dragun.
“Inmate Dragun never made it beyond the booking process prior to release; therefore, she was never placed in a men’s unit. All inmates undergoing our intake process remain in an open seating (open booking) area, in the presence of correctional staff,” the statement said. “Additionally, inmate Dragun was placed in a holding cell by herself due to her high profile status before being released, and she was escorted by an LGBTQ officer during her time at the corrections facility.”
Ketsoyan confirmed that Dragun was “released and is now safe.” She will have a court date in December, and has been banned from The Goodtime Hotel.
Miami authorities have previously faced allegations of abuse and misgendering of trans people who have been arrested and incarcerated. In May 2021, the Miami New Times reported that three transgender activists, Christian Pallidine, Gabriela Amaya Cruz, and Jae Bucci, were taken to the same correctional facility after being arrested at Black Lives Matter protests the previous summer. They alleged they were subjected to humiliating searches and genital inspections by officers which violated the jail’s policies.
Pallidine, who is a transgender man, said he was forced to take off his clothes and show his genitals to four officers after he told them his gender identity. Bucci, a transgender woman, said she also had to strip, and was then referred to with male pronouns. It is against federal law for officers to conduct strip searches in order to determine their gender. An investigation into the incident found no misconduct by the officers, according to the Miami New Times.