CHEWELAH, Wash. - A reported assault in Chewelah has one family asking the city to investigate- was their son the victim of a racially motivated crime?
Kent Pavlic, 25, says two men used offensive language before one of them hit him in the head. The Pavlic family says the trouble began earlier last week.
"He said a bunch of kids he thought were teenagers drove by and started hollering at him out the windows to go back where he came from, to make america white again," said Kent's sister, Tiana Pavlic.
Kent is one of five children the Pavlic family has adopted. He's originally from Guatemala.
The family was disheartened by the incident, but chose to put it behind them, until Sunday.
While taking the trash out of his father's Chewelah office, Kent says he was approached by two men. He says that what began as a conversation about his car escalated into intimidation.
"[They said] 'you're in the wrong country boy, we're going to make America white again' And when he tried to walk away, they hit him, Pavlic said.
Kent hit back, and then fled the scene.
"He was extremely distraught and he actually wanted to just get away, get away from the location," Pavlic said.
He later gave a statement to Chewelah Police, who are investigating the incident to determine whether or not it was racially motivated. Kent's mother took the issue to City Hall.
"She was quite upset when she talked to me, felt like it was racially motivated," said Knauss.
In some communities, racial slurs and offensive language have appeared more frequently in the aftermath of the election, Spokane included.
If this incident was racially motivated, Mayor Knauss says it'd be the first she's heard of.
"This isn't us. This hasn't happened, we wouldn't condone it, we don't want this sort of thing happening if it were happening," Knauss said.
"I don't get the feeling that this is a town that would support that kind of behavior," Pavlic said.
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