SPOKANE, Wash. - A mom suspected of committing a hate crime has spoken out for the first time. Spokane police arrested 42-year-old Sharyl Curtis for malicious harassment and assaulting an officer on Halloween night after witnesses said Curtis went trick-or-treating dressed in a white sheet with KKK written on it and made racial slurs. It happened at 5005 north Lacey Street in the Hillyard area.
In an exclusive jailhouse interview Curtis insisted to KHQ that she was innocent. "I am the victim, they are not, they are the perpetrators," Curtis said. She said she was trick-or-treating with her 9-year-old son when she was marred by a violent attack from her neighbors at an apartment complex on north Lacey.
"What did I do actually? What is proven that I did? Did I hurt anybody? There is no proof of that because I didn't. I was trick-or-treating with my son and they surrounded us," she said.
Spokane police said a group beat her up and broke her nose. According to police reports, witnesses said the attack was fueled by Curtis. Witnesses stated Curtis was drunk, dressed in a white sheet with KKK written on it, was knocking on the apartment complex doors demanding candy and making racial slurs.
"It's not true," she said. Curtis also said she never had a sheet with KKK written on it, let alone a costume. "No, no way," she said. Curtis did admit she may have made racial slurs during the attack. "If I said anything racist it was in combination with anything else that you say in retaliation when you're being beat up," she said.
Witnesses also said Curtis carried a bottle of bleach with her that she attempted to spray at people in order to "make everyone white." "No, that's ridiculous, that is ridiculous," Curtis said.
Curtis openly admits tensions between her, her son, and African-American boys in the neighborhood have been escalating for some time. She said that one African-American kid in her neighborhood took "a knife and chased my son - my son who was eight, he's now nine - while on a bicycle. He cut his tire, twice. I tell the police and they say "well, get a hold of your resources officer or whatever," she said.
Curtis also blames police for not going after her attackers. So far no one else has been arrested. After she was sent to the hospital officers said Curtis continued to make racial slurs including saying she wanted to raise her son "white power." She also made violent statements about police.
Curtis has little recollection of her time in the
hospital but said it's possible she made hateful statements because she was
HATE CRIME FORUM:
This suspected hate crime comes at a time when tensions are already high. Last month, three gay men said they were attacked because of their sexual orientation.
There will be a community event discussing hate crimes Wednesday night at the Hamilton Studio located at 1427 W. Dean. It starts at 6:30pm and last until 8:00pm..
Mayor Mary Verner, Police Chief Anne Kirkpatrick, and members of the Spokane City Council, as well as members from the LGBT community will be on hand to discuss the issues.
KHQ Local News reporter Chelsea Kopta filed this report. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow her on Facebook and Twitter at @khqchelseakopta