SPOKANE, Wash - Two Spokane women involved in a traffic-related altercation are speaking out after their car was damaged by two others, who are also accused of using racial slurs.
Chieko Shirahama, the passenger, and Carrie Collete, the driver, said they were driving on Driscoll Blvd. when a car in front of them suddenly braked.
"Out of nowhere, the car in front of us just slammed on her brakes. Metal to the floor," Collete said.
Collete said she was forced to drive over to the side of the road, then eventually went back on the main road. She said the car in front of her slammed the brakes again. After she unsuccessfully tried passing the car several times, she claims she was eventually successful and stopped her car in front of the other. Both drivers parked and Collete and Shirahama said they exited their vehicle to confront the other car.
"There's a man that jumps out and starts wielding a black knife at us. Talking about he's going to stab her, talking about I'm going to (expletive) kill you,"Collete said.
Shirahama, who is Black, claims she heard someone from the other car call her the n-word.
There were two individuals in the other car: a Spokane mom and her son, who are both White. In an off-camera interview with KHQ, they used racial slurs multiple times, but denied saying them to Shirahama or Collete. They also claim Collete's car was “tailgating” them, so they braked hard to stop them from being so close. The 17-year-old boy also admitted to pulling out a pocket knife, but denied displaying it in a violent manner.
"At this point, I know we are in way over our heads. I tell (Shirahama) to get back into the car and to call the police, and the lady begins screaming, 'It doesn't matter cause (I) know where you (racial slur) live' and she's going to come get us," Collete said.
The mother and son got in their car and left, but the confrontation was far from over.
"I'm not going to let somebody try to stab me in broad daylight, and saying they're going to come back and finish me off later, just go on their way," Collete said.
That’s when Chieko said she called 911, while Collete followed the car to gather more information for police. Both said they were only on the road for a short amount of time, when the other car pulled into a driveway.
It turns out the other car’s home was just down the road.
That’s when Chieko pulled out her camera, recording a video that currently has more than 17,000 views on her personal Facebook page. It shows the mother and son yelling into the car through a closed passenger window, then shows both hitting the car. The two break the car’s side window with their fists. Then, the teen goes to his home garage, grabs a stick, and beings whipping the Collete’s car. Shirahama claims the mother used racial slurs, again.
The entire ordeal occurred while Chieko was on the phone with 911. She said a dispatcher told her to drive to Salk Middle School, where a Spokane Police officer would meet her. She said after hearing their story, the officer left towards the house to investigate. The officer eventually returned, but was told a completely different story by the mother and son.
“The other people straight up said we supposedly called them a hon**, and aggressed them, and followed them into their home to attack them, and they had to fight for their lives,” Collete said.
The mother and son told us they were defending their home. They were surprised the car followed them home, telling us and Spokane Police that they were scared.
"So this just happened.. got called a (racial slur) and the boy in the orange had a knife.. wanted to kill us. All they kept screaming was (expletive)!!!! Wow!! What the (racial slur) this world come too.." Shirahama wrote on Facebook.
A Spokane Police spokesperson said officers made a determination that there was no probable cause for any knife/weapon involved. The teen received a juvenile referral, which the department means he was “technically arrested.” He was never booked and any potential charges against him will be up to the juvenile prosecutor to decide.
“As much was done as could have been done, at the time,” the spokesperson said.
This is a developing story and will be updated accordingly.
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