A group of teens in Spokane, Washington are accused of attacking an 88-year-old World War II veteran outside a pool hall, causing him extensive head injuries and ultimately killing him. The details of the crime against Delbert "Shorty" Belton are nothing short of horrifying, made even worse by the seemingly random nature of the crime. The teens, aged 16 and 19, apparently had no reason for the attack other than just wanting to be cruel.
There are some stories that just crawl into your brain and make you weep for humanity. This is one of them. Horrifyingly, this isn't even the first time this week that teens have done something like this. On August 16, a 22-year-old Australian baseball player attending college in Oklahoma was shot and killed, allegedly by teens who were "bored and didn't have anything to do."
What. The. Hell? My heart just hurts at the thought of this man who fought for our country -- he was even shot in the leg during the Battle of Okinawa -- and died this way.
Belton had lost his wife a few years ago and apparently liked to go to the Eagles Lodge to play pool. He was called "Shorty" by friends as a nod to his height. On Wednesday night, police found his broken body in the parking lot. He had extensive head injuries. He died early this morning.
Hurting a senior citizen like this has to be up there among the worst kinds of crimes against humanity. It shows such a lack of empathy and remorse and caring, it's almost sickening. The crime itself was bad enough for punishment, but how it was perpetrated and who it was perpetrated against should be taken into account as well.
This is how we have repaid a veteran who served his country proudly. It's just almost too horrible to even imagine. My heart goes out to his family.
Does this crime make you especially sick?
Image via U.S. Army Materiel Command/Flickr