Authorities report that an 86-year-old World War II veteran was beaten outside of a southwest Ohio hospital on Sunday.
Paul Browning had been visiting his ailing wife in Good Samaritan hospital. The couple’s family has said that the two met in Italy during World War II and have been married for 65 years.
According to police, 30-year-old Craig Phelps tried to steal Browning’s wallet outside of the hospital.
Browning’s son, Marvin Browning, said that his father was jumped just after leaving the hospital to go to his car.
As described in a police affidavit, Phelps has been accused of “slamming the victim against a wall, causing severe physical harm to his face.”
Fox 8 reports that Phelps punched Browning continuously and pushed him to the ground. After Browning refused to give up his wallet, Phelps suddenly helped the war veteran up, apologized and told him he mistook him for someone else.
Marvin explained that his father drove home from the hospital after the incident, after which his family brought him back to the hospital for treatment.
Family members stated that Browning needed stitches in his mouth after the incident, and was expected to be hospitalized for several days.
Although Browning’s family says that he is tough and will recover, doctors are checking out a potential heart issue.
“He’s like dad always is, he’ll be OK,” Marvin said. “That’s just what he says, ‘Everything’s OK.’”
Police arrested Phelps on charges of robbery and other counts, including possession of a needle for heroin use. As of Tuesday, Phelps is being held in Hamilton County Jail on $25,000 bond.
Phelps is due in court on Sept. 10.