CHENEY, Wash. -

A student at Eastern Washington University is fighting for his life after he was beaten in the head with a baseball bat.

Robert “Drew" Schreiber is a rising start on EWU's track team.

The Cheney Police chief is calling the attack barbaric.

The victim is not without fault, breaking out his attacker's car window with his fists. However, retaliating with a baseball bat for what's essentially a property crime, has turned this road rage incident into an attempted murder.

It started when Schreiber was on the balcony of his apartment when he exchanged words with people who drove by in a car.

“It got out of hand, and so Robert ran down the stairs, jumped on the back of the car and broke out the rear window,” said Cheney Police Chief John Hensley.

The impact showered the passengers in back seat with glass. Robert, who left his bare foot prints on top of the Nissan, ran back inside the apartment complex where the guys in the car caught up with him.

“At that time, they used both feet and hands to beat him,” said Chief Hensley.

The suspects then returned to their car, grabbed a baseball bat, and resumed their search for Robert in the complex.

“They were yelling out 'Whoever is hiding him, your better let him go, or turn him out to us, or we're going to start breaking windows,'” said Chief Hensley.

Robert pounded on doors trying to escape, but the three men, including non-EWU student Damian Dunigan, found him.

“They began to beat him with the bat,” said Chief Hensley. “He was struck on the head three to four times, so badly that the aluminum baseball bat is bent.”

The suspects then hid the bat in their trunk of the car and denied using overhand swings on Robert's head.

“We've got a young man in the hospital fighting for his life, and what over? Some broken glass,” said Chief Hensley.

Drew, as his friends call him, was a promising middle distance runner who had competed for the EWU track team. Track coach Chris Shane says Drew is a determined competitor who quickly implemented all of his coaching tips.

“That's indicative of top level kids, they do everything that they are asked to do, and he'd run through a wall for his coach,” said Shane.

Cheney Police have arrested two of the three suspects in this case. They are sitting inside of Spokane County Jail on $1 million bond.