Delbert Belton, WWII Vet, Beaten To Death By Teens

UPDATE: Police officers “have arrested one suspect, a juvenile male, in connection to the beating death of an 88 year old man earlier this week,” the Spokane Police Department said in a statement on Twitter. The suspect is 16-year-old Demetruis Glenn. The other attacker is still at large.

Original story below:

A WWII veteran who fought at the Battle of Okinawa, where he took a bullet to the leg and continued fighting, was beaten to death by two teens Wednesday night.

Delbert Belton, 88, from Spokane, Wash., was pronounced dead Thursday morning, KHQ reported.

Two male teens pummeled Belton outside a pool hall in what police describe a random attack.

"There was no indication that he would have known these people prior to the assault," Spokane Police Major Crimes Detective Lieutenant Mark Griffiths said.

Belton, who friends affectionally called "Shorty," enjoyed playing pool and working on cars.

Belton was Ted Denison's best friend of 23 years, Denison said in an interview with KXLY.

"He was always there for me when I needed him," Denison said. "I thought of him more as a dad than I did a friend really."


Friend of Belton, Lillian Duncan, told The Spokesman-Review that the veteran was waiting in the parking lot for her so they could walk into the pool hall together.

“Anybody that didn’t get to know him missed out on a wonderful angel in their life," Duncan said.

Police are looking for two black male teens. One suspect was described as heavy set and wearing all black clothing. The other has been described as being about 6 feet tall and 150 pounds, and was wearing a silk do-rag. The Spokane Police Department is hoping the public can help track down the suspects based on video footage of the two.