May 30, 2010— -- 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.