Three young men were arrested after they assaulted a disabled veteran who attempted to stop them from abusing a turtle in Daytona Beach, Florida, according to Sunshine State news reports.
“He had the turtle like this,” Navy veteran Gary Blough told WOFL, holding his hands above his head. “Slamming it down. Somebody has cleaned up the sidewalk now. It was covered in blood.”
WOFL reported that Blough’s wife was out getting the mail with their young child on Tuesday when they saw the turtle under attack, and came back crying to Gary.
“They said there was three guys out here killing at turtle,” he said.
He went out to see now-arrested 18-year old Johnnie Beveritt, 23-year-old Ryan Ponder, and a 16-year old boy who has not yet been named, all violently abusing the poor animal.
It really upset Blough.
“To see the guy throwing the turtle down on its shell as hard as he could and they were kicking the turtle that way, away from the lake, away from the pond,” he said.
Blough tried to help the turtle, which was already grievously wounded, back to the water, and when he wasn’t looking he was jumped.
“While I had my head turned, two of them started hitting me in the back of the head and punching me. Next thing I know we’re in a scuffle and I’m fighting three of them at the same time defending myself,” he said.
The fight left him badly hurt, including, according to The U.K. Daily Mail, “a broken skull and facial bones, internal bleeding and a concussion.”
The three have been arrested and charged with animal cruelty and aggravated battery.
The turtle was found in a pool of its own blood, dead.
Blough’s wife has set up a GoFundMe account to help deal with his medical expenses. That web page can be found here.
Neither of the victims in this incident deserved this.
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