The man accused of attacking DaShawn Horne with a baseball bat became enraged when he learned his sister had spent the night with the young African-American man, Auburn police said. He has been charged with malicious harassment, the state’s hate-crime statute.

Share story

LaDonna Horne still can’t quite believe an alleged hate crime landed her 26-year-old son in the intensive-care unit at Harborview Medical Center with a traumatic brain injury.

“You just never think it’s going to happen to you or so close to home. I was just telling someone, ‘It’s different out here. Everybody gets along. It’s so diverse,’ ” Horne, who is African American, said Tuesday.

It was the 11th day Horne, other family members and her son’s large circle of friends have kept vigil at the hospital while they wait for DaShawn Horne to wake up from injuries sustained in what police are calling an unprovoked attack with a baseball bat.

“As his uncles, we taught him to protect himself,” said Ray Jenkins, who is considered family even though he isn’t related to Horne. “But to be attacked from behind because of the color of his skin …”

What is a bias crime?

Under Washington state law, the malicious harassment — or hate crime — statute provides protections for people attacked over race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, gender, sexual orientation or mental, physical or sensory handicap.

Here’s an explanation of what "bias crime" actually means.

“Who can be prepared for that?” said LaDonna Horne’s brother, Rodney King, finishing his best friend’s sentence.

Auburn police and King County prosecutors say Horne is the victim of a brutal assault and hate crime, perpetrated by the 18-year-old brother of a young woman with whom Horne spent a night.

Julian Tuimauga, of Auburn, was charged last week with first-degree assault and malicious harassment — the state’s hate-crime statute — and remains in the King County Jail in lieu of $500,000 bail, jail and court records show.

From what his family has been able to piece together, Horne, a mail handler for the U.S. Postal Service who lives in Kent, had a rare Friday night off Jan. 19. He wanted to go to a particular nightclub in Seattle’s Pioneer Square but couldn’t get in, so he went to another nearby club instead. There, he met a woman in her 20s and the two “hit it off,” LaDonna Horne said.

At the end of the night, she invited him back to her place in Auburn.

The next morning, the woman called a Lyft car to drive Horne home, according to his relatives and charging papers.

It was the Lyft driver — who had backed into the driveway of a home in the 600 block of 27th Street Southeast — who witnessed the assault and called 911 just before 10:30 a.m. on Jan. 20, the charges say.

According to charging papers:

Tuimauga was carrying an aluminum baseball bat when he approached the Lyft driver and asked who the driver was there to pick up. The driver gave Tuimauga’s sister’s name as the person who had requested the ride, then watched as Tuimauga walked to a corner of the fenced yard.

A short time later, the driver saw Horne walk along the side of the house toward the driveway and heard him argue with Tuimauga, the charges say. He “then heard a thump sound like a bat had struck something,” according to charging papers.

The driver looked back and saw Tuimauga strike Horne in the head twice with the bat and watched him fall to the ground, the charges say.

At that point, the driver heard Tuimauga say, “This is what happens when you bring black people around here,” the charges say.

The Lyft driver drove away and parked two houses down, where he saw Tuimauga hit Horne three more times with the bat while he was lying unconscious on the ground, the charges say.

Part of the attack was captured by a neighbor’s video-surveillance camera, and the footage shows Tuimauga armed with the bat and Horne “falling into the frame” already unconscious, charging papers say.

While Horne was lying bloody in the front yard, Tuimauga used his cellphone to video-record the injured man while yelling racial slurs at him, the charges say.

According to the charges, Tuimauga repeatedly used the N-word.

State law defines malicious harassment — a felony commonly referred to as a hate crime — as intentionally injuring, damaging property or threatening someone because of his or her perception of the victim’s race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, or mental, physical or sensory handicap.

Tuimauga’s father and sister were inside the home and did not witness the attack, the charges say. But the sister told police her brother later broke down her bedroom door and called her a “whore,” charging papers say.

Police say Tuimauga later told detectives he was “in a rage” because he believed his sister and Horne had sex, the charges say.

At Harborview, doctors removed parts of Horne’s skull to relieve swelling in his brain, the charges say.

His brother, Obediyah Israel, set up a GoFundMe page on Friday to help cover his brother’s medical bills, lost wages and child support for his 16-month-old son, Deion. So far, the campaign has raised more than $3,800 of a $25,000 goal.

Horne was a star football player at Federal Way High School and studied criminal justice at Eastern Washington University for three years before dropping out when his former girlfriend got pregnant.

His family remains hopeful he will recover but know he’s got a long road ahead. Horne — who underwent surgery on his trachea Monday — will remain in the hospital for at least the next six months, and his prognosis is unknown, King said. The family consented to Horne’s being photographed in his hospital bed because they wanted people to see what a hate crime looks like.

LaDonna Horne said her faith is keeping her strong.

“As hard as this is, I forgive the young man who did this. But I won’t forget,” she said. “Vengeance is for the Lord. It’s in God’s hands, and so is my son.”