Porter Cross

Three young men allegedly beat and robbed an 87-year-old World War II vet.

While taking a walk to a neighborhood market for his weekly lottery tickets, Porter Cross was savagely attacked. Punched and kicked, his hearing aid was knocked out and dentures were busted as he tumbled to the ground. A witness's cellphone video captured the heartbreaking scene as the former Navy sailor tried to rise from the ground bruised, swollen, and confused.

His day had started like any other. Porter headed to a nearby shop for weekly lottery tickets when three guys pounced on him during the return trip home. "I feel sorry for them but I wonder why would they do something like this to an old person," he told a reporter. That's a question a lot of people are asking too.

"I'm outraged. I'm saddened. My heart hurts," Cross' daughter Cynthia Steward-Jones said. "He served his country and worked for the post office for 36 years. Who could do something like this to an old person? Or anybody?"

Fortunately, two delivery men who saw the crime followed the alleged attackers and told police where to find them. Police arrested three men -- a 15-year-old, a 17-year-old, and a 20-year-old -- not far from where Porter was robbed.

An easy mark is one thing, but this is beyond disgraceful. Here is an elderly man who fought for our rights, tottering down the street, and a gang of cowardly criminals attacks. He deserved better than that. All seniors do. There is clearly no honor among thieves anymore. People are even snatching jewelry off toddlers these days for goodness sake. Some lines should not be crossed. It's just shameful.

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Should there be harsher punishments for criminals who prey on children and the elderly?