At a Saturday track meet in Lewiston, Idaho, the runners from Eastern Washington University wore the letter “D” on their jerseys to honor one of their brightest stars.
“D” stands for Robert Drew Schreiber, a distance runner from Yakima who joined the EWU team last spring after transferring from the University of Washington. Since he was brutally assaulted at a Cheney apartment complex Oct. 8, Schreiber has been in a medically induced coma at Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center.
“Drew was probably one of the most talented track athletes to come out of the state, at least in a very long time,” said his coach at EWU, Chris Shane.
Schreiber, who uses his middle name in lieu of Robert, excelled in the 400m, 800m, 1500m and 1-mile events. Recently he had been recovering from leg injuries and was eager to get back on the track, Shane said.
“Everything was looking up,” he said. “We were really excited to have him come back and get healthy.”
On Friday, police arrested the second of three men suspected of carrying out the assault. Damian C. Dunigan, 20, was booked into the Spokane County Jail just before 5 p.m. Friday on a $1 million warrant for attempted first-degree murder.
Police arrested John T. Mellgren, 24, on Thursday on a warrant for attempted first-degree murder. He is being held in Spokane County Jail on $1 million bond.
Court documents indicate Schreiber was beaten with a baseball bat so badly that the bat bent. Mellgren reportedly denied being present when Schreiber was beaten, but police found what appeared to be blood on his shoes when he was arrested five days after the assault, according to court documents.
Mellgren’s Facebook page said he graduated from EWU in 2014. He also was a member of the track team, but that was years before Schreiber joined, said Shane, the coach.
Shane said he didn’t believe the two knew each other.
Witnesses said a third man participated in the assault, but he is not identified in court documents.
Shane said doctors have been reducing Schreiber’s doses of sedatives to gradually release him from the coma.
“Really, the fact that he’s laying there fighting for his life, that represents exactly the kind of fighter he is,” he said.