A Seattle man is fighting for his life after being attacked with a baseball bat. Police are calling the incident an unprovoked, racially-charged assault.
DaShawn Horne, 26, is hospitalized and struggling to recover from a traumatic brain injury he sustained in a brutal assault carried by the 18-year-old brother of a lady he’d spent the night with, according to The Seattle Times. Authorities have charged Julian Tuimauga with first-degree assault and malicious harassment, better known as the state’s hate crime law.
Tuimauga remains in the King County Jail in lieu of $500,000 bond, court records show.
“You just never think it’s going to happen to you or so close to home,” LaDonna Horne, the man’s mother, told the newspaper. ” … I was just telling someone, ‘It is different out here. Everybody gets along. It’s so diverse.’ ”
The unfortunate series of events unfolded the night of Jan. 19 when Horne visited a local club and later met a woman in her 20’s. LaDonna Horne said the two “hit it off,” after which the woman invited her new African-American friend back to her place.
The following morning, the unnamed woman called a Lyft to take Horne home, his family said. It was ultimately the Lyft driver who witnessed the brutal attack shortly after he had arrived at the home on Jan. 20.
“Tuimauga was carrying an aluminum baseball bat when he approached the Lyft driver and asked who the driver was there to pick up,” the charging papers state. “… The driver gave Tuimauga’s sister’s name as the person who’d requested the ride – [and] then watched as Tuimauga walked to a corner of the fenced yard.”
Moments later, the driver said he saw Horne walking alongside the house, headed toward the driveway and heard him exchange words with the woman’s brother. That’s when the driver said he heard a “thump [that] sounds like a bat had struck something.” He looked back to see Tuimauga repeatedly hit Horne in the head.
According to charging papers, the driver reportedly heard the brother yell, “This is what happens when you bring black people around here,” before striking the Black man three more times in the head as he lay bloodied and unconscious. He repeatedly used the N-word, too.
Part of the assault was also caught by a neighbor’s home surveillance, The Seattle Times reported. It showed Tuimauga wielding the bat as Horne stumbles into the frame of the home, already knocked unconscious. Tuimauga, who later told police he was in a “rage” because he thought his sister and Horne had had sex, used his cell phone to record the injured man as he continued to yell racial slurs.
The teen’s father and sister were inside the home at the time and did not witness the incident, according to the charges. Tuimauga’s sister said her brother barged into her room afterward and called her a ‘”whore,” however.
Horne’s family has since launched a GoFundMe page to help cover the young man’s medical expenses, lost wages and child support for his 16-month-old son. So far, the campaign has garnered nearly $20,000 in donations.
“The doctors say that he has a long road ahead towards recovery, he’ll be in intensive care for at least a month before transferring to a neurology unit for another month with the expectation of eventually being transferred to a rehabilitation center for up to six months,” the page reads.
“Currently DaShawn is in critical condition but improving every day,” it continues. “We are praying for [him] to have a full recovery and we are encouraged by all of your support.”