3 Seattle Bus Tunnel Guards Watch Brutal Beating

Gene Johnson, Washington Post, February 10, 2010

A 15-year-old girl who was badly beaten and robbed in a Seattle bus tunnel as three unarmed security guards looked on told investigators that she thought the men would protect her.

The statements were revealed in court papers filed Wednesday against the teen girl accused of attacking her and the three young men accused of stealing her purse, phone and iPod. The four were all charged with first-degree robbery.

The victim told a King County sheriff’s detective that the group followed her from a nearby department store into the bus tunnel at Westlake Station on Jan. 28, and she deliberately stood next to the three guards.

The guards didn’t intervene, though. They have standing orders to “observe and report,” so they called police but did nothing else as another 15-year-old girl punched and repeatedly kicked the victim in the head.

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The girl, who is black, also told the detective that the altercation began at a nearby department store, where some in the group made threatening comments that she had “nice things” and that she acts “white.”

Two Seattle police officers noticed the escalating situation and kicked the group out of the Macy’s, then brought the girl and her friend to another exit, the victim said. She reported that she asked the officers for an escort to the bus tunnel, just below the department store, but the officers refused.

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The victim, who reported that she lost consciousness during the attack, was not hospitalized. She said she has a potentially fatal heart condition, and tried to protect her chest as she was being kicked.

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The girl charged with being the primary attacker faces up to 2 1/2 years in juvenile detention if convicted. Whitaker, 18, and Latroy D. Hayman, 20, each face a sentence of 31 to 41 months in prison if convicted, and the third adult defendant, Tyrone J. Watson, 18, faces a sentence of 36 to 48 months in prison.

{snip}

[There is a video of the beating here.]

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