Three Florida men have been arrested after reportedly attacking a disabled Navy veteran who told the group to stop torturing a turtle.
Garry Blough, 45, said that the three men beat him up after he saw them smashing and kicking a fresh water turtle and told them to stop. Blough reportedly suffered a shattered skull and bones in his face, as well as a severely injured eye and a concussion, paramedics said, WWSB reports.
Police arrested the three suspects, identified as Johnnie Beveritt, 18, Ryan Ponder, 23, and a 16-year-old after the Feb. 14 incident, which reportedly took place in an apartment complex in Daytona Beach, Florida.
Blough, who was injured during his time in the military in the 1990s and uses a walker, said that his wife told him that the men were torturing the turtle, and he went outside to tell them to stop, and told his wife to call the police.
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One of the men was throwing the small creature down onto the pavement while the other two kicked it.
"The one had it over his head and he was smashing it down on the sidewalk," said Blough, according to WKMG. "I asked them to please leave it alone, just let it go to the lake."
The turtle died in the attack, according to the Palm Beach Post. The reptile was reportedly found in a puddle of blood in a nearby pond.
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A police report says that after Blough told the group to stop hurting the animal, they punched the veteran and then kicked him while he was on the ground.
"They started hitting the back of my head and started punching me. I was able to fend off a little bit but I mean three of them, got the better of me," said Blough.
Blough reportedly told the men that he didn't want to fight them, and one of the men told him, "I don't give a f*** and I don't care if I go to jail," according to the police report.
"The animal likely suffered greatly during the time it was being battered by the three defendants," said the report.
The three suspects were arrested for animal abuse and aggravated battery.
Blough said that he did not regret intervening, and that he hopes that the men are punished for the abuse and the attack.
"Yeah, I'd do it again and take the beating again if it meant saving that turtle," Blough said.