Two men beat a 29-year-old Coeur d’Alene man while he walked to a city restaurant early Sunday, apparently mistaking him for a neo-Nazi skinhead.
Robert DePaulis told Coeur d’Alene Police he encountered five men in the 700 block of north Fourth Street about 1:30 a.m. who were walking on the opposite side of the street. Two of the men - one black, the other white - crossed the street and punched him several times in the head and face, according to a police report.
The black man did not say anything during the attack, but the white man demanded that DePaulis “fess up” to being a skinhead, the report said.
DePaulis, who has a shaved head, reportedly yelled, “I’m not a skinhead” while the two punched him. DePaulis managed to squirm free of his attackers and ran north on Fourth Street to Capone’s Bar.
All five men chased DePaulis briefly, but turned around and left south on Fourth Street when he neared the bar.
DePaulis was not seriously injured and declined medical treatment.
Police called the attack, which apparently was unprovoked, an isolated occurrence. DePaulis told police he was going to a restaurant to read a book.
Police said they believe the attackers may have been drinking. A Capone’s bartender previously had refused service to the men, according to the police report.
The five men were described as in their early 20s. The black man had short brown hair and was of a medium build. The white man was tall and thin, and had short brown hair.
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