An uninvolved witness came to Arlene's aid. That Good Samaritan was Nikki Davis, 36, a pregnant African-American woman, who was sitting in the passenger seat of the van parked next to Arlene's vehicle as Nikki waited for her brother to return from shopping in the Safeway grocery store. Nikki was not involved in the political campaign and did not know Arlene, but came to her defense. The assailant then turned his ire on Nikki. He proceeded to hurl racial epithets and vile slurs at her, including calling her a "black b----" and the n-word, and telling her to "go back to Africa." He also pounded on the back of the van, and kicked its tires. Nikki, who was terrified for Arlene, for herself, and for her children who were with her in the car, called the police.
Before a police officer could respond to the scene, the assailant jumped into a silver Audi that was being driven by an accomplice. Witnesses scribbled down the license plate number of the getaway car, and turned that information over to the police. The police department has assigned the incident, described as hate crime, a case number of 12-240-980.
According to the Reject R-74 campaign, the attack shows that their opponents are not as tolerant and open-minded as they would like voters to believe. "It's outrageous that the 'Approve R-74' campaign call themselves the voice of tolerance and moderation and want people to feel bad for rejecting the referendum. There was nothing tolerant or moderate about attacking Arlene and Nikki," said Preserve Marriage Washington communications director Chip White. "Clearly the man who attacked Arlene and Nikki is intolerant of those who support traditional marriage," White added.
Arlene, who is in good spirits, said the attack only strengthens her resolve to help ensure that Referendum 74 is rejected. "The other side wants to intimidate us, but we can't stop standing up for traditional marriage. I'm not giving up. Protecting traditional marriage is just too important for our kids and grandkids," said Arlene, a grandmother. "I don't want my grandkids taught in public school that same sex-marriage is the same as traditional marriage," Arlene added.
Nikki, who could not attend a press conference because she has recently started a new job, is willing to speak with reporters.
Preserve Marriage Washington is a coalition of community and faith groups and hundreds of thousands of citizens who support marriage as the union of one man and one woman. For more information, visit www.PreserveMarriageWashington.com.