Spokane Police Investigating Racially Charged Attack

Published On: Sep 12 2011 11:23:40 AM PDT   Updated On: Dec 02 2010 06:29:36 AM PST
SPOKANE, Wash. -

A trip to a South Hill auto supply store to buy tire chains turned into a nightmare for a 26-year-old Spokane woman when, according to witnesses, Silver Lewis was attacked by two women in the parking lot outside the store for no reason other than the color of her skin.

The incident happened at 29th and Mount Vernon on the South Hill. Police say it was a mother and her 14-year-old daughter that attacked 26-year-old Silver Lewis. Lewis parked next to them in the parking lot and then the yelling began.

Rita Moline watched the whole thing unfold from inside the boutique Fringe.

?It was totally unprovoked by the young lady, and she wanted away and the mother and daughter would not back off,? Moline said.

According to court documents Lewis pulled into a parking spot outside the auto store where she planned to buy tire chains. 46-year-old Ellen Judd and her 14-year-old daughter were parked in the next spot over and Lewis said the two started screaming that she hit their car.

Lewis did not hit their car, but they wouldn't let up, calling her the ?N? word repeatedly.

?I spent time in Texas when I was about 14 and I could remember language like that, but I?ve never seen it or heard it since,? Rita Moline said.

The 14-year-old girl threw a snowball at Lewis? face and then began punching her repeatedly. It took 3 men to pry the women apart.

?They were pulling them apart, it took a long time to get them apart, I?ve never seen a 14-year-old act like that,? Moline said.

A woman who works at a store nearby pulled Lewis into her store and locked the door to protect her.

?The officer tells me my daughter was attacked because she was African American, which was just, I was in total disbelief,? Lewis? mom, Catherine Nelson, said.

?The mere fact that someone can decide they look at my child and physically attack her is beyond words.?

Nelson says her daughter suffered a concussion and is still sore but she says the emotional wounds are just as bad as the physical.

?I could have accepted this much more if this would have been road rage, and I know that might sound odd, but at least it would have been motivated by something, not just by getting out of your car to get chains for your car,? Nelson said.

When contacted for comment on this story Ellen Judd did not elaborate on what provoked the attack but she said she?s not a racist and that she has many friends who are not white.

Judd is facing a malicious harassment charge while her daughter remains in juvenile detention.