BARNHART, MO – A 70-year-old double amputee was reportedly attacked by a suspect outside of a gas station, after the victim confronted the suspect over parking in a handicap parking space without a proper placard.
Jefferson County man accused of assaulting double-amputee https://t.co/4t1dn3BVvm
— FOX2now (@FOX2now) July 27, 2021
The incident occurred outside of a gas station in Barnhart on July 18th, according to a Twitter post by the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, where a surveillance camera caught a suspect, identified as 35-year-old Robert W. Brooks III, walking out of the gas station and gesturing toward the victim outside of the view of the camera.
Footage shows the suspect walking out of frame and then the victim allegedly being thrown to the ground, which footage shows the victim falling and his head striking the concrete and the suspect retrieving some items from the ground immediately after the victim falls.
Excellent detective work led to the arrest of a violent suspect who was wanted for assaulting a 70-year-old double-amputee outside a gas station in Barnhart.
The victim suffered multiple injuries during this attack on 7/18 and he is still feeling the effects. pic.twitter.com/4emWQ2fMWp
— Jefferson County, MO Sheriff’s Office (@JeffCoMoSheriff) July 26, 2021
The victim, who has not been identified by authorities, reportedly suffered unspecified injuries, which he’s still recovering from as of this writing.
Brooks has since been charged with second-degree assault of a special victim, which he’s being held at the Jefferson County Jail without bond.
This isn’t the only instance in recent times that involved an amputee being assaulted with respect to a dispute over a handicapped parking space. Although, the incident that occurred in Vernon, British Columbia involved an amputee being accosted and attacked for parking in a handicapped spot.
In a report from the Coast Mountain News, Chelaine McInroy went to the Walmart in Vernon on April 24th and parked in a handicapped parking space – which is reasonable, considering she had a valid parking pass and wears a prosthetic leg due to losing her leg below her knee a few years earlier.
McInroy said that she was confronted by an unknown male who came “storming over, screeching at me through my open window about how I clearly wasn’t disabled, that I was just faking it and taking the spot away from someone who truly needs it.”
According to the 27-year-old victim, the unidentified male spit on her through her open car window:
“He then spat in my face and took off.”
Considering that McInroy was in her vehicle at the time when the man approached her, she’s aware that her disability may not have been patently obvious – but also voiced her disdain over the matter considering that not all disabilities are blatantly forward-facing:
“All because I was sitting in my car, and this man couldn’t see my disability. I am lucky in that my disability is usually visible – although of course not obvious to this man as I was sitting in my car and the prosthetic was not visible to him – but there are tons of disabilities that aren’t visible.”
McInroy stated that no matter what was going through the man’s mind in those moments, there is simply no excuse for that sort of behavior:
“That does not give anyone the right to harshly judge others, and it sure as hell is never OK to assault someone like that. Because that is what it is – assault.”
While a police report was filed by McInroy, she acknowledges that nothing will likely come from it since the security cameras from the Walmart didn’t pick up any of the incident, and her description of the suspect delivered to police wasn’t stellar since she was befuddled by the entire encounter.
What McInroy does hope is that her experience serves as a spark to embolden those who witness such abhorrent acts to step in and help those who are being victimized, as she recalls some people “turned a blind eye and walked away” while she was assaulted:
“I beg of you all, if you see something like that happen, step in and help. Or at the very least, take note of the details so hopefully, the person can later be held accountable… Incidents like this are not as uncommon as you’d think. But they are so wrong, and if nobody ever does anything, it will continue to happen.”
“So please, keep an open mind and know that there are a lot of things going on that you might not see or understand, but that does not give you the right to judge and act like that. And if you happen to witness a similar event, do something. The world needs more kindness, especially during these trying times.”
On June 12th, McInroy underwent a surgery to remove infected bone and tissue linked to her 2016 amputation, which resulted in her prosthetic she relied on for mobility no longer fitting.
— Vernon Morning Star (@VernonNews) June 17, 2021
A woman by the name of Kristy Handel in Salmon Arm, British Columbia endured an over 20-mile run to benefit her on June 23rd – which her run and GoFundMe account raised the funds needed to pay for the new prosthetic:
“One of the first things Chelaine said to me after the surgery was not that she was in pain or felt unwell, but how would she pay for the resized prosthetics?”
“I’ve known Chelaine for only a couple of months, but in that time, she has become one of my most cherished friends. She has the hugest heart.”
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While it is saddening to see the likes of disabled people – particularly amputees – becoming the victims of crimes, we at Law Enforcement Today have had the opportunity to share some awesome stories highlighting the amazing heroics of these sorts of individuals.
Back in November of 2020, we shared an amazing story of a one-legged, off-duty lifeguard that helped rescue the driver of an SUV whose vehicle went into the wat in New Jersey.
Here’s that previous report.
BAYONNE, N.J. – An off-duty lifeguard wasted no time springing into action on November 10th in Bayonne, New Jersey, to rescue the driver of a sinking vehicle that had somehow ended up in the water.
What makes this act of bravery all the more heroic is that this lifeguard also happens to an amputee – who refuses to let having only one leg ever hold him back in life.
A man didn’t think twice about rushing to rescue a driver who plunged into the water off of a park in New Jersey. Making him even more heroic, he jumped in with only one leg to save that stranger. @CoryJamesTV reports. https://t.co/QfHCU1G8RI
— CBS New York (@CBSNewYork) November 12, 2020
Authorities initially were unclear how exactly this SUV managed to find itself in the water at Hudson County Park on November 10th, with suspicions leading toward a possible pedal malfunction in the vehicle.
But it was the efforts of 29-year-old Anthony Capuano that shined that day, with him diving into the water to rescue the driver sinking with the vehicle.
Capuano happens to be a certified swim instructor and lifeguard that was nearby and off-duty at the time when the SUV plummeted into the water. While being an amputee, Capuano clearly showcased that being such didn’t deter his quick acting:
“I hopped over the fence, I took off my leg.”
Video from the rescue shows Capuano diving right into the water to assist the sinking driver.
The driver of the SUV, later identified as 68-year-old Joseph Kadian, told Capuano he didn’t know how to swim.
While remarking on the interaction between himself and the driver during the rescue, Capuano noted how the driver was seemingly panicked from the ordeal:
“He was like ‘I can’t’ and I was like ‘oh no’ and then I just, I grabbed him…He was panicking a little bit and his body was a little locked up.”
One of the witnesses to the daring rescue was Helena Bilodeau, who said the following of the tense moments:
“We were amazed that this man, Anthony, was the one that went in there. And we learned that Anthony has one leg missing…His physical condition did not stop him.”
At the British Swim School where Capuano works, his boss Robert Staph is proud to have learned that one of his own employees jumped into action to do what he does best:
“The fact that one of our instructors did what we preach and what we stand for on a daily basis in such a heroic manner, it’s unbelievable. I’m so proud of him.”
Looking back on the situation, Capuano wanted to share a message to those out there that are like himself:
“To my fellow amputees out there, I would just say don’t let anything stop you.”
According to the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office, Kadian had reportedly pulled over to answer a phone call when hit both the accelerator and brake simultaneously , which resulted in him losing control of the vehicle and ending up in the water.
Capuano and Kadian wound up catching up together on November 12th, two days after the incident, where they were able to rehash the matter and Kadian was able to – once again – express his gratitude for Capuano rescuing him.
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Author: Gregory Hoyt
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