(Spokane, WA) An 88-year-old World War II veteran was brutally beaten and left for dead by two teens outside a lounge in Spokane, Washington, where he loved to go play pool.
It’s not clear if his age or race were a motive or maybe robbery.
The man may have been picked at random, authorities say.
Delbert Belton, a retired aluminum company worker, served in the Pacific. There, friends say, he took a bullet in the leg during the Battle of Okinawa.
He survived that attack.
But Wednesday night, Belton — affectionately called “Shorty” by friends for his height — headed to the Eagles Lodge where he was a regular.
Police found him in the parking lot, with serious head injuries. He died Thursday.
“It does appear random,” Spokane police Lt. Mark Griffiths told reporters. “It appears he was assaulted in the parking lot and there was no indication that he would have known these people prior to the assault.”
It’s the second time in a week that a seemingly random attack by teenagers has claimed a life.
On August 16, a 23-year-old Australian baseball player attending college in Oklahoma was gunned down in the town of Duncan.
One of three teens police arrested in that shooting said they carried it out because “we were bored and didn’t have anything to do.”
Racist tweets from one of the teens charged have surfaced.