On Monday, two men reportedly assaulted a paralyzed Marine, threw him out of his wheelchair and stole his customized surfboards.
Randy Abbott had served in the Marine Corps for 14 years as a recon scout sniper. At the end of his service, he needed back surgery, but when his spinal cord was accidentally severed, he was left paralyzed from the waist down.
Thanks to specially-designed surfboards which allowed him to get back into the water, he was able to contradict doctors’ predictions that he would never surf again.
In fact, in addition to surfing three to four times a week, Abbott even opened a surf camp for kids with disabilities.
However, last Monday night, two men assaulted Abbott and threw him out of his wheelchair, leaving him with cuts and scrapes.
“One guy was cutting the straps and I said, ‘Hey, I’m paralyzed, don’t steal my surfboards!’” Abbott recalls. “And then the other guy came at me and took a swing at me, and I took a swing at him.”
“He missed, and I connected,” Abbott continued. “I caught him with a pretty good uppercut.”
The former Marine went on to explain that the assailant who had cut the straps then came around behind him and threw him out of his wheelchair. The man then kicked the wheelchair, which rolled some 50 feet down the parking lot.
“Then they threw my surfboards in the back of their [Toyota] 4-Runner and took off,” Abbott said.
Abbott describes the two assailants as white males between 20 and 26 years old, one a “shaggy” blond and the other with a long brown ponytail. He reports that they were driving an older model Silver Toyota 4-Runner with tinted windows.
His story has brought an outpouring of love from a broad community, not only in his immediate area, but also from overseas.
“When I have people who don’t even know me and they call me from Hawaii, Australia and France and say, ‘Hey, just get back in the water and surf and you’re gonna be ok. We love you buddy!’ That means a lot to me,” Abbott said.
Two of the boards, heavily damaged, have reportedly been discovered. A third is still missing.