A disabled Navy veteran was beaten up by three people as he tried to stop them from abusing a turtle, police said.
Garry Blough Jr. suffered a swollen eye out of which he can barely see and a bump on the back of his head in the attack, but he said he knew he had to do something when he saw two men abusing the animal.
“You don’t hit a woman, you don’t hit a child and you don’t hit an animal around me,” he said. “I won’t stand for it. That’s not right.”
Blough said he saw the men picking up the animal and smashing it into the ground outside his Daytona Beach apartment complex on Tuesday.
He said he, his wife and young daughter witnessed the attack.
“They’re seeing that, and plus, there are eight other children in the neighborhood all watching this, and they’re all in tears,” he said. “Every kid is crying.”
Police identified the three suspects as Ryan Ponder, 23, Johnnie Beveritt, 18, and Alfred Chico, 16.
Blough said he told his wife to call police when the suspects said they would not stop hurting the turtle.
Blough said the trio turned their fury on him and began punching his face.
As more neighbors heard the commotion and came outside, the three ran off, but police picked them up down the road.
“How are they going to be as fathers if they’re doing this to animals at their age?” said Blough.
Ponder, Beveritt and Chicoa are charged with battery and cruelty to an animal.
Ponder and Beveritt are being held on $15,000 bonds at the Volusia County Jail.
Cox Media Group