File photo

File photo

Two men charged with hate crime after brutal beating in Federal Way

Two suspects from Auburn have been charged with first-degree robbery and a hate crime in the severe beating of a Black man in Federal Way.

Federal Way police responded to a report of a dispute at 12:40 a.m. Oct. 26 in the 30300 block of 9th Avenue South. The two suspects — Eric Dean Wise, 33, and Travis Bryan Phillips, 34 — apparently chased the victim through Federal Way in their vehicle before catching up to him.

A witness told police that one suspect was seen punching the victim at least 15 times while the victim was still in his car. The suspects continued to attack the victim outside the vehicle, kicking him multiple times in the head and body while yelling racial slurs, according to documents.

The suspects were soon pulled over in a silver sedan by a Federal Way police officer after they ran a stop sign. The officer saw blood on the suspects’ hands, according to court documents, and one suspect told police they had chased the victim’s vehicle for “like 10 miles before we finally got him.” Police also report that one suspect bragged about the assault while saying racial epithets.

The suspects had taken the victim’s wallet and shoes before leaving him on the side of the road in a pool of blood. One of the suspects said he did these crimes because the victim was a Black man, according to documents.

Phillips told police that he had been driving with Wise in the passenger seat along Pacific Highway South when their car was hit from behind. The men then followed the victim’s vehicle to the location where the assault took place, according to court documents.

Police reviewed footage from Federal Way’s Safe City camera system. According to detectives, footage shows the victim fleeing from the suspects. The victim lost control of his vehicle on Pacific Highway and crashed at South 304th Street, which allowed the suspects time to catch up to the victim, according to the report.

Both suspects have multiple past criminal convictions. Bail was requested at $500,000 for each suspect. They are scheduled to appear in court for arraignment at 9 a.m. Nov. 9 at the Maleng Regional Justice Center in Kent.

The victim suffered multiple facial injuries. A GoFundMe account has been established to help pay for his medical bills.

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