WWII Veteran, 87, Mugged in Broad Daylight

Two delivery men witnessed beating, led police to alleged attackers

By Lindsay Smith
|  Tuesday, Jul 31, 2012  |  Updated 11:29 PM CDT
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Porter Cross was attacked as he was walking to a convenience store near his home on Monday. Natalie Martinez spoke with the man and his daughter.

Porter Cross was attacked as he was walking to a convenience store near his home on Monday. Natalie Martinez spoke with the man and his daughter.

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Two teens and a man are in police custody after they allegedly jumped an 87-year-old World War II veteran and robbed him of his wallet, knocking out the man's hearing aid and busting his dentures in the process.

Two delivery men who witnessed the attack secretly followed the alleged attackers and guided police to them.

The trio, ages 15, 17 and 20, were arrested not far from where Porter Cross was kicked and robbed at West 71st Street and South Artesian Avenue.

"I'm outraged. I'm saddened. My heart hurts," Cross' daughter, Cynthia Steward-Jones, said Tuesday. "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?"

Charged in the attack were Rashon Williams, 20, of Calumet City, and Michael Protho, 17, of Hazel Crest. Both were charged with robbery of a senior citizen. Protho was also charged with reckless conduct for trying to run into oncoming traffic in order to escape arrest, authorities said.

The 15-year-old, also charged with felony robbery, will be handled by juvenile authorities. Bond was set at $500,000 each for Williams and Protho.

"I got nothing to say to them," said Cross. "I feel sorry for them, but I want to know why would they do something like this to an old man."

Cross was treated at Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn for several bruises and lacerations across his face.

Marta Omarr, who lives on the property where the beating took place, called the attack disgusting.

"I just thought it was awful for him to be 87 years old, birthday coming up Thursday, and for him to just be on a nice day, in broad daylight, to be walking to the store and to be attacked by these three animals," She added. "It's ridiculous."

 

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