Friday, June 19, 2009

Teen beaten by two men in Seattle

Seattle, Washington (June 17, 2009) - Police are investigating the assault by two white men on June 1 of 19-year-old Hannah Geiger. Hannah Geiger, who has a seizure disorder and is a silver medallist in the Special Olympics, was viciously beaten and knocked unconscious by two men in their 20s near the Magnolia Community Center around 3:30 p.m. on June 1. According to, the men were muttering "racial slurs"during the attack, which police are calling a hate crime. As reported in the Seattle Times:

On June 1, the Haitian-born 19-year-old started out on her three-block walk from her home to one of her favorite palaces, Magnolia Community Center, when she was stopped by two white men who accosted her because of her race and disability before beating her unconscious. No arrests have been made.

"After we got back home, she told me what happened and her face was pretty red. She showed me her bruises and told the story," said her mother, Ruthann Geiger.

On Wednesday evening, a crowd of about 300 supporters and friends gathered at a community barbecue thrown in Hannah's honor in Magnolia.

For the first time since she was thrust into the local spotlight after surviving what police say was a violent hate crime, Geiger's game face cracked into an embarrassed, but resolute, smile.
Hannah, who has won 16 medals at the Special Olympics, is described by those who know her as a "leader and a natural born helper." In the words of Wayne Grytting, Hannah's teacher for four years at West Seattle High School, "She has been a teacher to all of us about how to care for each other."

The story in full is here and here.