Delbert "Shorty" Belton a 88-year-old wounded veteran of World War II died Thursday after he was brutally beaten, apparently at random, in the parking lot of his lodge in Spokane, Wash., authorities said. Spokane police said they were seeking two suspects in the attack Wednesday night on Delbert "Shorty" Belton, a retired aluminum company worker who'd lived in the city for most of his life after he was discharged from the Army after the war.
Belton died of his injuries Thursday morning, police said. The suspects were described as black males of average build, 16 to 19 years old, wearing black clothing and red sneakers. Police Lt. Mark Griffiths said they apparently attacked Belton at random.
"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," Griffiths said at a news conference. As police released surveillance camera photos of two young men believed to be the suspects, a makeshift memorial overflowing with flowers, U.S. flags and messages of sympathy sprouted Thursday outside the Eagles Lodge in North Spokane.
It's the second time in a week that a seemingly random attack by black teenagers has claimed a life. On August 16, Christopher Lane 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." The randomness of the two attacks was not lost on Ted Denison, who's been friends with Shorty Belton for a long time. "It's really depressing," Denison told CNN late Thursday night. "Seems that all there is is bad news."
Bill Warner Sarasota Private Investigator, SEX, CRIME, CHEATERS & TERRORISM at www.wbipi.com