Seattle police are investigating an alleged attack on a white 16-year-old that left the boy nearly unrecognizable to his parents as a possible hate crime.
Shane McClellan of West Seattle told ABC News Seattle affiliate KOMO-TV that he was attacked early Tuesday morning, held hostage and beaten for hours, and he said his assailants told him it was because he was white.
"They started bringing up the past -- like slavery -- being like, white people did this," McClellan told KOMO News reporter Shomari Stone in an exclusive interview. "They targeted me for being white, and they made it very clear that's why they were assaulting me."
The boy's father, Tim McClellan, told the TV station he barely recognized his son when he first saw him after the attack.
"I didn't know if he was alive or dead," Tim McClellan said.
Seattle Police Department spokesman Mark Jamieson told ABCNews.com today that detectives were investigating the alleged attack, which occurred early Tuesday morning, and were looking into whether it might have been a hate crime.
He said, however, that ultimately the district attorney's office will decide whether to pursue the case as a hate crime.
"We will look at it, we will review it, but the prosecutors will make the final call," Jamieson said.
In the interview with KOMO, Shane McClellan said the attack occurred as we was walking home from a birthday party at a friend's house Tuesday around 2 a.m.
Two men called to him from the top of a staircase near a West Seattle intersection and asked for a light, he said. But when he went to give them the light, he added, they attacked him, knocking him down and kicking him.
All the while, they were kicking and beating him on the staircase, and they also abused him with racially charged remarks, he told KOMO.
The two men, one of whom appeared to be black and the other Asian or Pacific Islander, pulled off his belt and started whipping him with it, he said.
"They said, 'This is for what your people did to our people.' They were like whipping me with my belt, my studded belt," McClellan said.
He said one held a gun to the back of his head and burned his neck with cigarettes.
"Put a gun to the back of his head and told him if he said anything they were going to blow his head off while they sat there and burned him with cigarettes on the back of the neck," Tim McClellan said of his son.
Shane McClellan said the two men pushed his face into a hole with the gun against his head, urinated on him and poured beer over him.
"They're like, 'Aw, white boy, what are you doing? You can't hang out this late. What are you doing around here?'" McClellan told KOMO. "They're like, 'White boy has no belonging - being out here at 2 a.m.'"
He said that he eventually passed out -- and when he came to, the attackers had left, and that his money, a coat and an MP3 player were missing.
He flagged down a passing car for help, and his family met him at the hospital, he told KOMO.
According to Jamieson, the boy called 911 sometime after 6 a.m. Tuesday and police met with him to take his report on the alleged attack.
He since has been released from the hospital.
Jamieson said he did not know the status of the case. But KOMO reported that detectives told the family they were working on a photo montage of possible suspects to see if McClellan could identify his alleged attackers.