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Random attack in Spokane leaves WWII veteran dead

By Nicholas K. Geranios

Associated Press

LAST UPDATED: 10:37 a.m. HST, Aug 23, 2013

SPOKANE, Wash. » Police in Spokane, Wash., have arrested one of two teens suspected of fatally beating an 88-year-old veteran of World War II who had survived the battle for Okinawa.

Police contend that two 16-year-old boys approached Delbert Belton in his car at random Wednesday night outside an Eagles Lodge as he was waiting for a friend.

Belton was found by police with serious head injuries and died in the hospital Thursday.

Belton's death has struck a chord nationally and sparked outrage on social media.

"He fought for this country," said Belton's sister, Alberta Tosh, today. "Then he comes home and a couple of creeps kill him in the worst way."

Police Chief Frank Straub said there was no information that the attack was motivated by anything other than robbery. Police were offering no details about the crime itself, including what was taken, if anything.

"I don't really care what their motive was," Straub added. "We are not going to tolerate this." Such random attacks are rare in Spokane, a city of 210,000 people in eastern Washington, Straub said.

Police say the arrested teen was being held on charges of robbery and first degree murder.

Straub identified the suspect still at large as 16-year-old Kenan D. Adams-Kinard. Even though he is a juvenile, his name and photo were released because he remains a danger to the community, Straub said. The Associated Press doesn't usually name juvenile suspects, but is identifying the teen because of the manhunt.

"We are asking the community's assistance to locate him," Straub said. "We are asking Mr. Kinard to surrender immediately."

"He displayed very aggressive and violent conduct with his assault of Mr. Belton," Straub said, adding that he believed the arrest of the second suspect was imminent.

Both of the suspects have juvenile court records and have past convictions for assault, Straub said.

Straub also offered his condolences to Belton's family.

"He is a World War II veteran who suffered injuries in Okinawa," Straub said. "The Spokane Police Department has been working tirelessly to identify and apprehend the suspects."

Belton was born and raised in Spokane and joined the Army during World War II. His sister said he was shot in the leg on Okinawa, site of one of the fiercest battles of the war in 1945.

"He was shell-shocked real bad," Tosh, 78, said. "But it got better."

After the war, he spent 33 years working for Kaiser Aluminum, before retiring in 1982.

In retirement, Belton loved to dance, play pool and repair old cars, family members said.

"He was very active and everybody liked him," said niece Pam Hansen. "He'd never think about harming another person."

Belton was called Shorty by his friends because he was little more than 5 feet tall, Hansen said.

She believes he was targeted by the assailants because of his age and size.

"He was defenseless," Hansen said.

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Porkchop wrote:
Looks like a Fijian kid! Darn Fijians can't keep out of trouble.
on August 23,2013 | 07:09AM
mrluke wrote:
"two young men"! Hmmm...
on August 23,2013 | 07:17AM
mrluke wrote:
Revs Jackson and Sharpton - Where are you?!
on August 23,2013 | 07:19AM
8082062424 wrote:
this paper will not say it was two African american teens that did it. sad
on August 23,2013 | 07:32AM
cojef wrote:
Teen behaviorial problems are starting to emerge, coincidental to changes in societal acceptance of unwed mothers parenting. Is "Big Government" contributing to problem by its entitlement programs all in the name of social justice. With government sponsored planned parenthood programs, it presumed these issues could be addressed, yet it has not provided any solutions. Are our focus faulty? The Duncan, Oklahoma incident is also an wantoned killing by teens. The incident about the troubled youth who almost shot up school children, thanks to the bookkeeeper prevented it from occurring. Just look back a year and there are many incidents where troubled young individuals are commiting horrendous acts of violence. National security issues command enormous funding like the huge facility being built in Utah. What about threats from our domestic and international youth gangs?
on August 23,2013 | 07:33AM
loquaciousone wrote:
How come when black kids do something heinous Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson seem to disappear under the rock from where they crawl out from whenever the shoe is on the other foot?
on August 23,2013 | 07:38AM
50skane wrote:
That's because when blacks commit heinous crimes like this one, they believe it was because of all the so-called "oppression" and discrimination blacks supposedly go through as their growing up..and Obama said the same thing regarding the Zimmerman case a little while ago...so blacks and their so-called leaders like Sharpton and Jackson explain these crimes away like "what do you expect from our oppressed young black kids".....SHEESH!!!!!
on August 23,2013 | 07:50AM
paniolo wrote:
Another 2 bored teenagers?
on August 23,2013 | 08:45AM
Pacej001 wrote:
The Great American Press on display: No mention of the race of the alleged suspects which would be fine if our glorious news media carried a neutral balance regarding race (clue: it doesn't). -----------------Now, let's work our way through this. If the old gent had been black and if the two supposed murder suspects had been white what would be going on instead? Right. We'd be in full Sharpton mode, talking heads on the mainstream media screaming about racism, and Obama in the Rose Garden tearfully describing the victim as some one who could have been his grandfather. ------------ However, numbers are stubborn things when it comes to interracial violence. According to statistics from the FBI and the Justice Department, 90 percent of interracial crimes are committed by blacks against whites.
on August 23,2013 | 08:48AM
false wrote:
We're in a race war folks. The blacks on one side, the whites on the other. Karma? Ainokea!
on August 23,2013 | 08:53AM
Maneki_Neko wrote:
I guess that makes me Switzerland.
on August 23,2013 | 11:50AM
Anonymous wrote:
Same thing when (2) black teens shot a baby in the face cause the mother didn't have any money !! "AL", "Jess" and "B" never let out a PEEP !!
on August 23,2013 | 09:11AM
Anonymous wrote:
Hope these two get caught and pay for their action !! The cops better not let up !! But then, the whites no riot/protest. If its the other way around....guess what ???
on August 23,2013 | 09:14AM
Mythman wrote:
Love conceal carry
on August 23,2013 | 10:56AM
ryan02 wrote:
Washington state has the death penalty, right? Good. As for people complaining because the race of the criminals wasn't mentioned, the police said it seemed to be a robbery. Is race relevant? I would also note that the race of the man who killed 16 Afghan civilians wasn't mentioned in that article, and the race of the woman who stabbed a man to death in Puna wasn't mentioned, and many other articles don't mention race. What does it matter, unless race is a factor. At this point in time, the police don't believe race was a factor.
on August 23,2013 | 11:00AM
primo1 wrote:
I think I read somewhere that Washington hasn't executed anyone since 1976. I hope "Ol' Sparky" still works.
on August 23,2013 | 12:06PM
kispest wrote:
Hope those low-lifes will be executed!
on August 23,2013 | 12:38PM
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