A grieving mother, who is now praying for her son's recovery after he was left with a traumatic brain injury due to an alleged unprovoked racist attack in Auburn, Washington, says she is leaving vengeance to the Lord as she forgives her son's attacker.
"As hard as this is, I forgive the young man who did this. But I won't forget," LaDonna Horne told the Seattle Times. "Vengeance is for the Lord. It's in God's hands, and so is my son."
LaDonna Horne's 26-year-old son, DaShawn Horne, is fighting for his life in the intensive-care unit at Harborview Medical Center after police say he was brutally assaulted on Jan. 20 by the 18-year-old brother of a young woman he spent the night with. The attack is being investigated as a hate crime.
Horne's alleged attacker, Julian Tuimauga, was charged last week with first-degree assault and malicious harassment, which is the state's hate-crime statute. He is currently being held in the King County Jail in lieu of $500,000 bail.
The victim's family says on Jan. 19, he met Tuimauga's sister, who is in her 20s, at a club while on his day off from his job as a mail handler for the U.S. Postal Service. At the end of their time at the club, she invited him back to her place in Auburn. The following morning, the woman called a Lyft car to drive Horne home.
The Lyft driver said he heard Horne argue with Tuimauga and then reported hearing "a thump sound like a bat had struck something," court records say. He reported seeing Tuimauga strike Horne twice with a bat and watched as he fell to the ground. He told police he heard Tuimauga say, "This is what happens when you bring black people around here."
The Lyft driver, who called police shortly before 10:30 a.m. on Jan. 20, reportedly drove away from the scene of the attack 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 Seattle Times reported. Partial footage of the attack was captured on a neighbor's video-surveillance camera.
Tuimauga reportedly used his cellphone to video-record his victim while repeatedly yelling racial slurs. His sister told police he later broke down her bedroom door and called her a "whore." Tuimauga would later explain to detectives he was "in a rage" because he believed his sister and Horne had sex.
Horne was so badly injured that doctors had to remove parts of his skull to relieve swelling in his brain, according to the Seattle Times.
"The doctors say that he has a long road ahead towards recovery, he will be in intensive care for at least a month before transferring to a neurology unit for another month with the expectation of eventually being transferred to a rehabilitation center for up to six months," the campaign says.
Horne, who has a 16-month-old son, is described as "an amazing father, brother, son and friend."
"He is funny, loving, strong, hard-working clerk for the United States Postal Service. Dashawn loves to make people laugh and feel protected. His personality and presence lights up a room. His love and compassion has impacted many lives," his family said.