Police seek help in solving racial attacks

In one case, a 15-year-old boy dislocated his shoulder. In the other, a man spent three days in a hospital for brain swelling.

Both said their assailants yelled racial slurs.

These unsolved assaults occurred in Spokane and Coeur d’Alene in the past two weeks. Detectives don’t know if they’re related, and they’re asking for the public’s help.

The first attack occurred July 22 when two Native American men, ages 20 and 34, were beaten by five men in the area of Garland Avenue and Crestline Street about 9:30 a.m.

Spokane detectives released details of the crime Thursday in hopes witnesses will come forward.

The attack resembles a race-related assault that occurred outside the Coeur d’Alene Resort late Saturday, according to Coeur d’Alene police. Two 15-year-old boys, one of whom is black, were beaten by at least five men as the pair asked for money to catch a taxi home about 11:45 p.m.

One man made a disparaging remark about black people when the black boy said “Did you not see me standing here?” according to a police report.

A fight ensued, and police arrived to find resort security talking to the victims. The assailants were already gone.

Coeur d’Alene police released these descriptions:

A white male about 260 pounds wearing a white shirt and brown shorts and a hat.

A white male about 135 pounds with dark brown hair and wearing an Abercrombie shirt and brown shorts.

A white male between 180 and 200 pounds and wearing khaki shorts and a polo shirt with no shoes.

The others involved were dressed similarly in polo shirts and shorts.

In the Spokane incident, the victims were walking on Garland to the Northeast Community Center when five men – two with baseball bats – got out of a white 1990s-style car that looked like a Nissan Maxima and an argument ensued.

The assailants yelled racial slurs; the victims required stitches, and for one of them, hospitalization, police said.

The men are described white, in their 20s with shaved heads. None wore shirts at the time of the attack, and all fled north in the car on Stone Street.

Detectives on both cases keep in contact, but police hope witnesses will come forward to help indentify suspects.

“There certainly could be connection,” said Spokane police spokeswoman Officer Jennifer DeRuwe. “There’s no way to show that yet.”

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