Victim Of Alleged Hate Crimes Speak Out: 'There's A Lady With Th - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Victim Of Alleged Hate Crime Speaks Out: 'There's A Lady With The KKK'

SPOKANE, Wash. - Halloween night turned into a nightmare for Tyree Brown when at around 9:30pm there was a knock on his door.

"My son answered the door and there's a lady with KKK - with a sheet over her head that said KKK," Brown said.

Brown identified the woman as Sharyl Curtis, 42, a woman who lives nearby, who he said was yelling racial slurs at people in the apartment complex on North Lacey Street.

Spokane Police arrested Curtis on Monday, October 31, for malicious harassment and assaulting an officer.

According to RCW 9a.36.080, someone is guilty of malicious harassment if he or she maliciously and intentionally commits certain acts because of his or her perception of the victim's race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, or mental, physical or sensory handicap. Malicious harassment is a class C felony and falls under the umbrella of hate crimes.

"I didn't know what to think, I thought my son was joking!" Brown said.

Spokane Police reports state Curtis was drunk, dressed in a white sheet with KKK written on it, demanded candy and yelled racial slurs. The report also states Curtis carried a bottle of bleach that she attempted to spray at people to "make everyone white."

Investigators said that's why angry neighbors beat Curtis up and broke her nose.

"She used the N-word massive amount of times," eyewitness and neighbor Jordan McDaniel said.

Security camera footage from that night shows someone wearing what looks like a white sheet, crossing the street toward the apartment complex. The footage is dark and grainy but neighbor John Smith is convinced it's Curtis.

"I'd swear on my dad's grave it's Sharyl," Smith said.

Smith lives two houses down from the apartment complex where the incident took place and said he bought the security cameras years ago to protect his family. Smith said he's been sparring with Curtis for years after he said she threatened his family.

"She accused me of raping my daughter," Smith said through tears. Smith insists Curtis' claims are lies.

"I love my child too and I would never do anything to hurt her," Smith said.

To protect his family from Curtis, Smith filed multiple protection orders and police reports. He even videotaped Curtis at the park across the street after he said Curtis made threatening statements to his seven-year-old daughter and family members.

"I just want people to know that Sharyl's not what she says she is," Smith continued. "She's evil. She's been evil to us."

Many neighbors in the area said Halloween night was just the latest incident in a history of scary encounters.

"A good average person doesn't act like that," Smith said.

Curtis tells a very different story. The 42-year-old mom sat down with KHQ in an exclusive jailhouse interview. Curtis insists she is innocent of all accusations.

"What did I do actually? What is proven that I did?" Curtis said. "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."

In the interview, KHQ grilled Curtis about her alleged use of racial slurs, and we flat out asked her if she wore a sheet with the letters KKK written on it and if she carried bleach with her. Curtis denied all claims, despite what is reported in the affidavit of facts from the police department.

"You never made any racial slurs?" KHQ reporter Chelsea Kopta asked. "No," Curtis replied. "If I said anything racist it was in combination with anything else that you say in retaliation when you're being beat up."

Curtis admitted tensions between her, her son, and African-American kids in the neighborhood have been escalating for some time but calls racist claims outright lies.

"They're all a group of liars," Curtis said. "That's all there is to it."

Curtis also said she blames police for not going after her attackers. So far no one else has been arrested.

Curtis also faces charges of assaulting an officer after that officer said she threw a bloody rag at him and tried to kick him. Curtis said she had no recollection of that because she was medicated while in the emergency room.

If you would like to hear Sharyl Curtis' jailhouse interview in its entirety, head to our website www.khq.com and click on the video tab.

This web story was filed by KHQ Local News reporter Chelsea Kopta

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