Victim of brutal hate crime beating struggling for survival

SEATTLE — A man remains in Harborview with a traumatic brain injury after being severely injured in what prosecutors say was a hate crime beating in Auburn earlier this month.

Prosecutors say that on Jan. 20, DaShawn Horne was beaten with an aluminum baseball bat by the brother of a woman he had spent the night with at the Auburn home the siblings share.

“I was told it was a hate crime. I lost it, I lost it big time,” said LaDonna Horne, the victim’s mother.

Family members say DaShawn Horne had met a woman at a Seattle bar, they hit it off, and he went home with her to Auburn.

Charging documents say the suspect, 18-year-old Julian Tuimauga, was upset that Horne had spent the night with his sister.

On the morning of the attack, Horne went outside to get into a Lyft he had called to come pick him up at the Auburn home.

Police say Tuimauga was waiting outside, and that’s when he attacked Horne, hitting him in the head and body numerous times with a bat. The beating continued even after Horne was unconscious, and bleeding on the ground.

As the victim lay bleeding in Tuimauga’s front yard, Tuimauga took out his phone and took a video of the victim as he yelled racial slurs, so he could show it to his sister, according to prosecutors.

“This is what happens to these (racial slur) out here, huh? That’s what happens to you (racial slur) out here boy,” Tuimauga said in the video before going back inside the house.

Horne is black. The Lyft driver who called 911 reported hearing Tuimauga say something to the effect of, “This is what happens when you bring black people around here,” according to court documents.

“I know this world is full and filled with hate. I was always grateful and thankful that we lived in Washington State, a melting pot state,” said Rodney King, DaShawn’s uncle. “I would read and I would look at our nation’s ills from afar. I was like that’s not here.”

“Come to find out that my nephew was savagely attacked with a baseball bat as he departs the residence of a girl he had me the previous night,” King said. “It was heartless. It was calculated. Deliberate,” he said.

Since the beating, Horne remains in intensive care. Parts of his skull had to be removed to relieve swelling to his brain. His family says as of Tuesday, he started breathing on his own without help from a machine.

Horne has a 16-month-old son named Deion.

“I try not to cry, especially in the room with my son. Because he can hear you, and I have to be strong for him, my two other kids, and his son” said his mom, her voice breaking.

She says people need to know about the hate crime.

"We need to get it out to all the communities. It’s not accepted here,” LaDonna Horne said. “We teach our children who we are. Hate is taught. Someone teaches you how to do that. We are all born innocent,” she said.

When asked if she had anything to say to the person who attacked her son, LaDonna Horne said, “I wish God would save his soul. And he learns something from his mistakes. And we forgive him.”

A GoFundMe account for Horne says he was a clerk for the U.S. Postal Service. His family says he worked there full time and previously attended Eastern Washington University, and played football at Federal Way High School.

Tuimauga was charged with first-degree assault and malicious harassment -- commonly referred to as a hate crime.  He remains in the King County Jail in lieu of $500,000 bail.

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