The woman who was brutally beaten in downtown Spokane on Tuesday has been released from the hospital as the man accused of attacking her made his first appearance in court.
The woman, Tiffany Turner, 37, was beaten near Second Avenue and Jefferson Street, according to court documents. Martay L. Ellis, a 24-year-old with multiple convictions in Thurston County, was arrested Wednesday.
Lisa Turner, Tiffany Turner’s sister, said Tiffany had just purchased groceries when the assault happened. Lisa said Tiffany did not know Ellis.
“A five-time felon should not be released and still (be) walking the streets,” Lisa Turner said.
Spokane police detectives reviewed surveillance footage in the area to piece together what happened, according to court records.
Ellis was walking on Second Avenue past Jefferson Street on the south side of the road as the victim drove her car north on Jefferson Street.
She stopped at Second Avenue and Ellis turned back to look at her, according to court records. It appeared Turner may have called out to him, to which Ellis responded with a two-arm gesture, a detective wrote in court documents.
The victim got out of the driver’s seat and stood near her car as Ellis strode back her direction making “angry gestures,” according to court documents.
She took a step back before Ellis punched her and tackled her to the ground, court records say.
She could be seen struggling to get away while on the ground, but Ellis continued to assault her. He punched her several times in the head until she stopped moving, the documents say.
Ellis then kicked and stomped the woman in the head at least three times, according to court records. He continued to attack her even after she was limp on the ground.
The detective wrote that Turner never made any aggressive movement toward Ellis, and there was no apparent reason for the attack.
Ellis ran from the scene after several bystanders began rushing toward them, according to court records.
Darlene Cogle said she witnessed the alleged assault shortly after leaving her job for the day at National Medical Management on Fifth Avenue and Jefferson.
Cogle said she saw Ellis punch Turner and then pick her up and slam her down on the ground.
Cogle said Ellis proceeded to jump on top of Turner and punch her several times in the face until Turner was “limp,” as indicated in court records. Cogle said Ellis stood up and kicked Turner twice in the head or face, which is when Cogle shut her car off and ran toward Ellis and Turner, yelling at other bystanders to stop the assault.
She said as she was running, Ellis stomped on Turner’s head.
“As soon as he started kicking her in the face, I was like, this person’s gonna die,” Cogle said.
Cogle said she called 911 and gave her sweatshirt to a man who wrapped it around Turner’s head to stop the heavy bleeding.
That man appeared to be a community health worker at SNAP, Anwar Peace, who said he was leaving his nearby office when he saw the tail end of the attack.
“It appeared like the suspect was literally jumping up and down on her head,” said Peace, who also does police accountability work.
A group of people appeared to be following Ellis, Peace said, so he went to help the victim. Peace, who has first aid training , worked to stop the profuse bleeding from her head.
Her face was so swollen that he couldn’t see her pupils, Peace said.
Other bystanders had called 911, but for Peace in those moments, trying to comfort the woman, “ just felt like forever.”
The victim was unable to speak with police before they wrote the warrant, due to the severity of her injuries. She had been discharged from Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center on Wednesday, according to hospital staff.
When police located Ellis the next day, he had injuries consistent with committing the assault, according to police.
He was booked into the Spokane County Jail on suspicion of first-degree assault. After his first court appearance Thursday, Ellis’ bail was set at $500,000.
Lisa Turner said Tiffany sustained a concussion, has memory loss, struggles to walk and one of her eyes is forced shut. Lisa Turner said three people, including her father who flew in from Chicago, are caring for Tiffany around the clock at Tiffany’s Spokane home.
Tiffany is a single mother of two boys and works as a nurse at Sacred Heart and part-time at Amazon. Doctors do not know if she will make a full recovery, Lisa Turner said. She will need therapy, as well as rehabilitation, to help her walk fully again.
Lisa Turner set up a GoFundMe that people can donate to in an effort to help Tiffany pay for medical bills. The GoFundMe link can be visited at www.gofund.me/57350376 .
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