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Police arrest juvenile in fatal attack on WWII veteran

Aug. 23, 2013 at 11:45 AM

SPOKANE, Wash., Aug. 23 (UPI) -- A juvenile has been arrested in the beating death of an 88-year-old World War II veteran, police in Spokane, Wash., said Friday.

He has been charged with first-degree robbery and first-degree murder, CNN reported.

Police said Delbert Belton was found beaten outside an Eagles Lodge Wednesday. The attackers were described as black males, ages 16-19, both wearing black clothing, The (Spokane) Spokesman-Review reported Thursday.

Belton, called "Shorty," by friends, fought in the Battle of Okinawa in 1945, friend Ted Denison said.

"He was a tough old bird, I'll tell you that," he said.

Police said in a release they responded to a call of an assault at the Eagles Lodge Wednesday night. When they arrived, they found Belton in his car with serious head wounds. He was taken to an area hospital where he died Thursday.

Belton was waiting at the Eagle Lodge for a female friend because he didn't want her to enter the club alone, said Lillian Duncan, another longtime friend.

"He was so awesome," she said. "Anybody that didn't get to know him missed out on a wonderful angel in their life."

Authorities said the juvenile chose Belton at random and there appeared to be no personal motive for the fatal attack.

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