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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Crime/Public Safety

Four juveniles charged in beating of homeless woman near Shopko

Sept. 22, 2021 Updated Wed., Sept. 22, 2021 at 8:18 p.m.

Four juveniles, ages 14 and 15, have been charged with eight felonies in connection with the beating of a homeless woman asleep near the abandoned Shopko in north Spokane.

Video of the assault shows a group of young people kicking and hitting the woman, who was lying on the ground sleeping on Aug. 27, according to a Spokane Police Department news release.

SPD detectives identified the suspects within 24 hours and located the victim. She did not sustain permanent injuries.

Charges have been referred to the Spokane County Prosecutor’s Office.

Deer Park School District Superintendent Travis Hanson said the district is aware that Deer Park students were involved in the beating, but said he could not comment on how or whether the students were disciplined. He said the district worked with Spokane police to ensure detectives had the information needed to complete their investigation, and that the school district conducted an investigation of its own.

Hanson said at least one of the juveniles involved is in the Deer Park School District, but he said he could not say how many were.

It wasn’t the first high-profile act of violence against a homeless person in Spokane.

In 2020, a homeless man was shot and killed as “practice” before the man arrested for his death, Nathan Beal, allegedly killed his ex-wife.

Another man was beaten to death at a homeless camp in Mead in July 2020. And more recently, Justin Combs, 34, was beaten to death outside of the Spokane Intermodal Center.

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