SEATTLE — Investigators allege a man bashed DaShawn Horne, 26, with a baseball bat – all because he’s black.
Horne, from Auburn, is at Harborview Medical Center with severe injuries and, as of Wednesday, his family says he is still in a coma.
Prosecutors say DaShawn was attacked by Julian Tuimauga, 18, on Jan. 20 because he believed DaShawn, who is black, had sexual relations with Tuimauga’s sister.
Tuimauga, who is listed as Asian in court documents, has been charged with a hate crime and is being held in jail in lieu of $500,000 bail.
Horne’s family is holding on to hope beside DaShawn’s hospital bed that he pulls through.
“I would never think in a million years I would be sitting here and my son is a victim,” said LaDonna Horne, DaShawn’s mother.
LaDonna clings to her faith, believing God will help her son survive.
“I hope that justice is served for my son,” she said. “Something needs to be done about this racist stuff.”
Police say it all started nearly two weeks ago at a home in Auburn. Investigators say DaShawn was a guest of a female who lived there, but trouble began as soon as he tried to leave.
“It’s not just happening in the South, it’s happening right here in our back yards,” said LaDonna. “It’s happening right here in our face.”
Prosecutors say the suspect, the female’s brother, beat DaShawn repeatedly with a baseball bat after learning he spent the night with his sister.
According to a witness, suspect Julian Tuimauga, who is now charged with assault and malicious harassment, shouted racial slurs during the assault, saying:
“This is what happens when you bring black people around here. This is what happens to these n****** out here huh? That’s what happens to you n****** out here boy.”
“For somebody to sneak attack him from behind, caught him off guard, nobody expects that,” said DaShawn’s uncle, Rodney King.
“I’m outraged. I'm angry, I’m upset. I’m hurt. It hurts to know he called my son a n*****. I mean come on, this is life,” said LaDonna.
Horne’s family say he’s a loving father. He has already gone through two surgeries to relieve the swelling in his brain but he still faces a long recovery.
“After the neurological ward he would be in rehab, in the hospital, for at least six months,” said King.
Officials are prosecuting the assault as a hate crime.
DaShawn’s family are left wondering why anyone would target him because of the color of his skin.
“What gave him the right to bash my son’s head in?” asked LaDonna. “I really want to look him in the face and ask him, why did you do that?”
Family members and friends have already raised nearly $50,000 online to help cover expenses.
Recently the city of Seattle released new data showing a dramatic rise in bias crimes – records showed a 230% increase between 2012 and 2017.