African-American Man Fighting For His Life After Unprovoked Racist ‘rage’ Attack In Auburn

Seattle Times staff reporter
The man accused of attacking DaShawn Horne with a baseball bat became enraged when he learned his sister had spent the night with the young African-American man, Auburn police said. He has been charged with malicious harassment, the state’s hate-crime statute.

LaDonna Horne still can’t quite believe an alleged hate crime land­ed her 26-year-old son in the inten­sive-care unit at Harborview Medical Center with a trau­mat­ic brain injury.

You just nev­er think it’s going to hap­pen to you or so close to home. I was just telling some­one, ‘It’s dif­fer­ent out here. Everybody gets along. It’s so diverse,’ ” Horne, who is African American, said Tuesday.

It was the 11th day Horne, oth­er fam­i­ly mem­bers and her son’s large cir­cle of friends have kept vig­il at the hos­pi­tal while they wait for DaShawn Horne to wake up from injuries sus­tained in what police are call­ing an unpro­voked attack with a base­ball bat.

As his uncles, we taught him to pro­tect him­self,” said Ray Jenkins, who is con­sid­ered fam­i­ly even though he isn’t relat­ed to Horne. “But to be attacked from behind because of the col­or of his skin …”

Who can be pre­pared for that?” said LaDonna Horne’s broth­er, Rodney King, fin­ish­ing his best friend’s sen­tence.

Auburn police and King County pros­e­cu­tors say Horne is the vic­tim of a bru­tal assault and hate crime, per­pe­trat­ed by the 18-year-old broth­er of a young woman with whom Horne spent a night.

Julian Tuimauga, of Auburn, was charged last week with first-degree assault and mali­cious harass­ment — the state’s hate-crime statute — and remains in the King County Jail in lieu of $500,000 bail, jail and court records show.

From what his fam­i­ly has been able to piece togeth­er, Horne, a mail han­dler for the U.S. Postal Service who lives in Kent, had a rare Friday night off Jan. 19. He want­ed to go to a par­tic­u­lar night­club in Seattle’s Pioneer Square but couldn’t get in, so he went to anoth­er near­by club instead. There, he met a woman in her 20s and the two “hit it off,” LaDonna Horne said.

At the end of the night, she invit­ed him back to her place in Auburn.

The next morn­ing, the woman called a Lyft car to dri­ve Horne home, accord­ing to his rel­a­tives and charg­ing papers.

It was the Lyft dri­ver — who had backed into the dri­ve­way of a home in the 600 block of 27th Street Southeast — who wit­nessed the assault and called 911 just before 10:30 a.m. on Jan. 20, the charges say.

According to charg­ing papers:

Tuimauga was car­ry­ing an alu­minum base­ball bat when he approached the Lyft dri­ver and asked who the dri­ver was there to pick up. The dri­ver gave Tuimauga’s sister’s name as the per­son who had request­ed the ride, then watched as Tuimauga walked to a cor­ner of the fenced yard.

A short time lat­er, the dri­ver saw Horne walk along the side of the house toward the dri­ve­way and heard him argue with Tuimauga, the charges say. He “then heard a thump sound like a bat had struck some­thing,” accord­ing to charg­ing papers.

The dri­ver looked back and saw Tuimauga strike Horne in the head twice with the bat and watched him fall to the ground, the charges say.

At that point, the dri­ver heard Tuimauga say, “This is what hap­pens when you bring black peo­ple around here,” the charges say.

The Lyft dri­ver drove away and parked two hous­es down, where he saw Tuimauga hit Horne three more times with the bat while he was lying uncon­scious on the ground, the charges say.

Part of the attack was cap­tured by a neighbor’s video-sur­veil­lance cam­era, and the footage shows Tuimauga armed with the bat and Horne “falling into the frame” already uncon­scious, charg­ing papers say.

While Horne was lying bloody in the front yard, Tuimauga used his cell­phone to video-record the injured man while yelling racial slurs at him, the charges say.

According to the charges, Tuimauga repeat­ed­ly used the N‑word.

State law defines mali­cious harass­ment — a felony com­mon­ly referred to as a hate crime — as inten­tion­al­ly injur­ing, dam­ag­ing prop­er­ty or threat­en­ing some­one because of his or her per­cep­tion of the victim’s race, col­or, reli­gion, ances­try, nation­al ori­gin, gen­der, sex­u­al ori­en­ta­tion, or men­tal, phys­i­cal or sen­so­ry hand­i­cap.

Tuimauga’s father and sis­ter were inside the home and did not wit­ness the attack, the charges say. But the sis­ter told police her broth­er lat­er broke down her bed­room door and called her a “whore,” charg­ing papers say.

Police say Tuimauga lat­er told detec­tives he was “in a rage” because he believed his sis­ter and Horne had sex, the charges say.

At Harborview, doc­tors removed parts of Horne’s skull to relieve swelling in his brain, the charges say.

His broth­er, Obediyah Israel, set up a GoFundMe page on Friday to help cov­er his brother’s med­ical bills, lost wages and child sup­port for his 16-month-old son, Deion. So far, the cam­paign has raised more than $3,800 of a $25,000 goal.

Horne was a star foot­ball play­er at Federal Way High School and stud­ied crim­i­nal jus­tice at Eastern Washington University for three years before drop­ping out when his for­mer girl­friend got preg­nant.

His fam­i­ly remains hope­ful he will recov­er but know he’s got a long road ahead. Horne — who under­went surgery on his tra­chea Monday — will remain in the hos­pi­tal for at least the next six months, and his prog­no­sis is unknown, King said. The fam­i­ly con­sent­ed to Horne’s being pho­tographed in his hos­pi­tal bed because they want­ed peo­ple to see what a hate crime looks like.

LaDonna Horne said her faith is keep­ing her strong. “As hard as this is, I for­give the young man who did this. But I won’t for­get,” she said. “Vengeance is for the Lord. It’s in God’s hands, and so is my son.”https://​www​.seat​tle​times​.com/​s​e​a​t​t​l​e​-​n​e​w​s​/​c​r​i​m​e​/​a​f​r​i​c​a​n​-​a​m​e​r​i​c​a​n​-​m​a​n​-​f​i​g​h​t​i​n​g​-​f​o​r​-​h​i​s​-​l​i​f​e​-​a​f​t​e​r​-​u​n​p​r​o​v​o​k​e​d​-​r​a​c​i​s​t​-​r​a​g​e​-​a​t​t​a​c​k​-​i​n​-​a​u​b​u​rn/