Two white men from Washington state are awaiting trial on hate crime and first-degree robbery charges for reportedly chasing a Black driver for 10 miles before brutally attacking him.
Eric Dean Wise, 33, and Travis Bryan Phillips, 34, of Auburn, Washington, chased a Black driver through Federal Way before stealing his wallet and shoes and beating him severely while shouting racial slurs. The man was left on the side of the road in a pool of his own blood.
“The defendants’ actions in this case are stomach churning and heinous,” prosecutors wrote.
Phillips admitted to officers that he had beaten the man, and bragged that he had done it because he was Black. The men said the Black victim rear-ended them on the road.
Court files show that Federal Way police officers responded at about 12:40 a.m. on Monday, Oct. 26, to witness reports of two white men assaulting a Black man.
The sound of Phillips and Wise beating and yelling slurs at the victim was loud enough that an unrelated individual heard it from inside his home. The witness said he saw the victim get struck at least 15 times by the defendants before he was pulled from his vehicle and kicked in the head and body several times while lying on the ground.
Court files say the attackers “beat him to a bloody pulp.” The men both fled, but both were arrested later that day.
When officers arrived they saw a silver sedan with rear-end damage run a stop sign. Officers pulled over the driver, who was later identified as Phillips. Both men had blood on their hands and officers asked if they were injured. The men said they weren’t and admitted to beating a man who had rear-ended their car.
Phillips said the man was “down the road by his BMW.” The witness confirmed the man was lying outside of his BMW.
Officers located the man, who was bleeding, and whose eyes were swollen shut. He was transported to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle.
“The injuries suffered by the victim at the hands of these men during this hate crime were extreme and required hospitalization,” court records say. “When questioned about it, defendant Phillips proudly proclaimed he did these crimes because the victim was a Black man. This was a brutal hate crime.”
“I beat his ass because he was a (expletive),” Phillips said to police, according to the charging documents. “(Expletive) that Black guy,” the Seattle Times reported.
Both defendants, who each have long criminal records, are being held at King County Correctional Facility in Seattle in lieu of $500,000 bail. The men are scheduled to be arraigned on Nov. 9.