A Purple Heart recipient was reportedly viciously beaten by a group of six young men outside a restaurant in Kansas City, Missouri. Police have yet to make any arrests.
Relatives say the 37-year-old army captain is lucky he survived. The soldier suffered significant blood loss, several broken bones in his face, a skull fracture and possible optic nerve damage, reports WDAF.
As of Sept. 25, the victim was still in the hospital, according to KCTV. He is on active duty at a nearby military facility.
"He's confused. He's angry. He doesn't understand. He doesn't know why this happened," a cousin of the victim told WDAF. "It's very hard for him, but all he can say is 'I'm lucky to be here.'"
Family members said the army captain, who is white, apparently bumped into a black man he didn't know inside Zocalo Mexican Restaurant. Managers reportedly asked the black man to leave when he became hostile.
"Some words were exchanged," the relative of the victim said. "My cousin tried to defuse the situation and tried to walk away."
The hostile man and some of his friends were waiting for the army captain outside the restaurant because they were "looking for a fight," according to a Kansas City Police Department report.
"It should be noted that all the involved parties were heavily intoxicated," according to the report.
The suspect sucker-punched the soldier and his friends punched and kicked the victim, a witness said.
Two of the soldier's friends tried to help him but were also kicked and punched, requiring treatment at the scene.
Once police were called, the aggressors fled in a white vehicle.
One of the primary suspect's friends left his debit card at the restaurant, so police have that man's name.