OH, PLEASE: Hate Crime Ruled Out in U.S. Soldier’s Stabbing Death; Three Arrested
By Jonathan Kaminsky
(Reuters) - Race was no longer considered a motivating factor in the weekend stabbing death of a white U.S. Army serviceman in Washington state, police said on Monday as they announced the arrest of three fellow soldiers connected with the incident.
Police reported on Sunday that the victim, 20-year-old Tevin Geike, had been walking with two fellow soldiers on Saturday in a Tacoma suburb when a car drove by and, according to witness statements, its occupants yelled "something about being white."
One of the soldiers who was with Geike - all of whom were white and stationed at the nearby Joint Base Lewis-McChord - expressed displeasure about those in the car "treating combat soldiers with disrespect," Lakewood Police said in a weekend statement.
The car stopped, and a verbal confrontation ensued between Geike's group and a group of black men from the car. Geike was stabbed after tensions had initially appeared to defuse once the driver learned that the soldiers were combat veterans, police said at the time.
On Monday, police said the three arrested U.S. soldiers, all African American, were also serving at Joint Base Lewis-McChord. They said interviews conducted with some of those who may have been involved led police to conclude the stabbing was not racially motivated.
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