Auburn police and King County prosecutors say Horne is the victim of a brutal assault and hate crime, perpetrated by the brother of a young woman with whom Horne spent a night.
Horne, 26, has been clinging to life at a Seattle hospital since suspect Tuimauga attacked him with an aluminum baseball bat on Jan. 20 while using the N-word, according to reports. The 18-year-old launched the attack raining racial slurs after finding out the victim spent the night with his sister, police and relatives said.
“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.
Perplexed family member, Ray Jenkins, wondered: “As his uncles, we taught him to protect himself, but to be attacked from behind because of the color of his skin …”
Horne had gone out to Downtown Seattle on Jan. 19, when the U.S. Postal Worker had an uncommon Friday night off.
18-year-old Julian Tuimauga has been charges with malicious harassment – a hate-crime charge, and first-degree assault
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.
LaDonna Horne, her family and DaShawn’s friends have kept vigil at the hospital praying her son to wakes up from injuries sustained in what police are calling an unprovoked attack with a baseball bat
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.
Part of the attack was captured by a neighbor’s video-surveillance camera. The footage shows Tuimauga armed with the bat and Horne “falling into the frame” already unconscious, the charge complaint says.
Tuimauga’s father and sister were inside the home and did not witness the attack, but the sister told police her brother later came back into the house, broke down in her bedroom door 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 $20,829.
Doctors had to remove part of his skull because his brain is swelling. He is expected to stay in the intensive care unit for another month, then another month in neurological care. Followed by six months in rehab, the GoFundMe page explains. – “Who can be prepared for that?” asked Rodney King, Horne’s uncle.
Seattle Times reports that the family consented to Horne’s being photographed in his hospital bed because they wanted people to see what a hate crime looks like.