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Friday, August 23, 2013

WWII vet, 88, beaten by teens in random attack, dies

WWII vet, 88, beaten by teens in random attack, dies

Delbert Belton an 88-year-old veteran of World War II (Photo courtesy of Spokane Police Department) Former US infantryman, Delbert Belton, survived wounds received in World War II only to be beaten and left for dead by two teens at the Eagles Lodge in Spokane on Wednesday evening.
Belton, who was known as "Shorty" by his friends at the Eagles Lodge, served in the US Army in the Pacific during WWII and was shot in the leg during the Battle of Okinawa, according to a report by KXLY television.
Yet it was not a battle in the Pacific that would end the US veteran’s life, but rather an apparently random attack outside the lodge where he was about to join friends in a game of pool.
Witnesses say Belton was in the parking lot of the men’s club on Wednesday evening when two male suspects attacked him.
"It does appear random. He was in the parking lot, 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," Spokane Police Major Crimes Detective, Lieutenant Mark Griffiths, said.
Belton, 88, succumbed to his injuries on Thursday morning at the Sacred Heart Medical Center.
"I don't understand how somebody could do this. I really don't," a friend of Belton’s told KXLY.
K-9 police attempted to track the suspects' trail but were unsuccessful. However, video surveillance footage captured images of two black youths – one in the parking lot and another in a nearby convenience store - suspected of being the assailants in the attack.

With the suspects still at large, the Spokane Police Department is working to track them down.
Spokane police are searching for two male suspects - African Americans between 16 and 19 years old - in the attack. One suspect was described as heavy set and wearing all black clothing. The other was described as being about 6 feet tall and 150 pounds. There was no description of what clothing the second suspect was wearing aside from a silk do-rag.