Teens Beat WWII Vet
SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) – 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, on Friday. “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 imminxent. Both of the suspects have juvenile court records and have past convictions for assault.
Belton was called Shorty by his friends because he was little more than 5 feet tall, niece Pam Hansen said.
She believes he was targeted by the assailants because of his age and size.