Delbert Belton's First Attacker Has Been Found — So What's the Motive?

World War II veteran Delbert Belton, fondly known as"Shorty" in his town of Spokane, Washington, was viciously beaten and later died from massive head injuries following a seemingly random attack in a pool lounge parking lot this Wednesday. The 88-year-old Belton was waiting outside his frequent hangout spot, the Eagles Lodge, where he would play pool two to three times a week. This time, he was waiting to walk his friend Lillian Duncan home because “he didn’t want her to walk home alone,” when two young African American men brutally beat him and left him for dead. 

This comes as a shock to many of Belton’s close friends, who knew him as a war hero who took a bullet in the leg during the Battle of Okinawa in WWII. After the beating, Belton did not survive past Thursday. After using search dogs, sweeping for fingerprints, and scouring through surveillance tapes, authorities were in luck when they found the two men caught on surveillance cameras. Police announced Friday that one of the juveniles has been arrested. He has since been charged with first-degree robbery and first-degree murder. Police are now continuing their search for the second of two teenagers, both of whom were described as black males aged 16-19, both wearing dark clothing and one wearing a do-rag.

Police have yet to confirm any motive besides a desire to perpetrate a genuinely random street beating. Spokane police Lt. Mark Griffiths told reporters, “It does appear random… 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." Shorty, a retired aluminum factory worker, reportedly had no prior problems, threats, or altercations outside the lodge before, and was generally well appreciated and loved by his community. This has been the second seemingly random teenage attack this week in the nation, following the death of 23-year-old Australian baseball player Chris Lane, who was gunned down in the town of Duncan, Oklahoma. The reasoning behind that shooting was quoted by a shooter as, “because we were bored and didn't have anything to do."

Outside the lodge on Thursday, Belton’s friends and even strangers in the community left flowers, flags, and messages for the now passed vet.

How much do you trust the information in this article?

Alexandra Cardinale

Alexandra Cardinale curious, quirky, and vivacious student currently researching Communications, Business and Law at New York University. Her extensive study in 16 countries have given her a unique perspective on both domestic U.S. policy and current international policy outside. She works to apply this inquisitive point of view to her writings here at PolicyMic and to any and all of her political discussions.

MORE FROM

Know who’s really winning ‘Game of Thrones’ this season? The show’s editing team

Props to Crispin Green and Tim Porter for episodes one and two, respectively. Y'all are some gross monsters.

TJ Miller’s explanation of the “feminist agenda” in ‘The Emoji Movie’ proves the bar is too low

How feminist can a movie with no female writers really be?

On Lana Del Rey’s lust for social consciousness

For her latest studio full-length, LDR proves there's more to her than the flower-crown aesthetic.

‘Game of Thrones’ Theories: Arya and Nymeria finally reunited, but what does it mean?

So, is Arya actually heading back to Winterfell?

‘Game of Thrones’: So Samwell Tarly is basically George R.R. Martin, right?

Finally, Jon Snow's sidekick has a greater purpose.

‘Game of Thrones’: Everyone's true nature is exposed in "Stormborn"

WE WERE ALL ROOTING FOR YOU, THEON!

Know who’s really winning ‘Game of Thrones’ this season? The show’s editing team

Props to Crispin Green and Tim Porter for episodes one and two, respectively. Y'all are some gross monsters.

TJ Miller’s explanation of the “feminist agenda” in ‘The Emoji Movie’ proves the bar is too low

How feminist can a movie with no female writers really be?

On Lana Del Rey’s lust for social consciousness

For her latest studio full-length, LDR proves there's more to her than the flower-crown aesthetic.

‘Game of Thrones’ Theories: Arya and Nymeria finally reunited, but what does it mean?

So, is Arya actually heading back to Winterfell?

‘Game of Thrones’: So Samwell Tarly is basically George R.R. Martin, right?

Finally, Jon Snow's sidekick has a greater purpose.

‘Game of Thrones’: Everyone's true nature is exposed in "Stormborn"

WE WERE ALL ROOTING FOR YOU, THEON!