26-year-old DeShawn Horne was severely beaten in Seattle by a man who used racial slurs after finding out the victim spent the night with his sister.
His attacker, Julian Tuimauga, beat him with an aluminum baseball bat while repeatedly calling him the N-word. Julian has been arrested.
“You just never think it’s going to happen to you or so close to home,” the victim’s mother, LaDonna Horne, told the Seattle Times. “I was just telling someone, ‘It’s different out here. Everybody gets along. It’s so diverse.’ ”
King County prosecutors hit the 18-year-old Tuimauga last week with a malicious harassment, the state’s hate-crime charge, as well as first-degree assault, according to local reports.
Horne had gone out to Downtown Seattle on Jan. 19, when the U.S. Postal Worker had an uncommon Friday night off.
He met a woman in her mid-20s at a club, and she took him and another back to her home in Auburn, a town south of Seattle, according to the Seattle Pilot.
Reports indicate they spent the night at the home, and she called a Lyft to take Horne to his home in Kent, less than 10 miles to the north.
The Lyft driver reportedly backed into the driveway that Saturday morning, the Seattle Times reported, and waited for his passenger.
After a few minutes of waiting Tuimauga approached the driver clutching a baseball bat and asked for whom he was waiting, the Seattle Pilot reported.
When the driver said Tuimauga’s sister had called him, the suspect went into the house.
The driver would later tell police Horne came up to the car from the side of the family’s house, where Tuimauga started fighting with him.
An Auburn police report provided to local media said there was a “thump” and the driver saw Horne fall to the ground after being hit in the head twice.
“This is what happens when you bring black people around here,” Tuimauga allegedly said during the assault.
The Lyft driver took off, parked a few houses down and called 911, according to reports.
Tuimauga then hit Horne three more times, the driver told cops.
He also recorded a cell phone video during the beating, during which he used the N-word, the police report said.
Surveillance video from the scene also showed an already passed out Horne “falling into the frame,” records obtained by local media note.
Tuimauga’s sister, who didn’t witness the assault, later told cops he came back into the house, broke down in his bedroom and referred to her as a “whore,” the Seattle Times reported.
Police later found Horne in the front yard bloodied and unconscious.
Tuimauga later tried to delete the video, but cops recovered it, the Seattle Pilot reported.
He reportedly told investigators that he fell “in a rage” when he thought Horne slept with his sister.
Tuimauga’s bail was set at $500,000 and is currently in a King County jail.
Horne, who has a 16-month-old boy, is still unconscious at Harborview Medical Center and has had several procedures done.
A GoFundMe page was set up by his brother, Obediyah Israel, to cover his expenses and provide for his son with the goal of raising $25,000. By Wednesday morning, it raised nearly $8,700.
Horne will stay in the intensive care unit for another month, the page notes, and then another month in neurological care.
He’ll then have to spend another six months in rehab, the GoFundMe page adds.
Doctors had to remove part of his skull because his brain is swelling, the Seattle Times reported.
“As his uncles, we taught him to protect himself,” Ray Jenkens, who isn’t a blood relative but considered Horne’s family, told the newspaper. “But to be attacked from behind because of the color of his skin.”
“Who can be prepared for that?” Rodney King, the brother of LoDonna Horne, added to the Seattle Times.
Keep DeShawn and his family in your prayers.