DAYTONA BEACH, FLORIDA — A disabled Navy veteran was attacked by a group of three young men when he saw them beating a turtle and tried to intervene.
On February 14 in his Daytona Beach apartment complex, Gary Blough’s wife and daughter told him they passed three men smashing a freshwater turtle against the concrete. Blough, 45, walked over and told the hooligans to leave the poor creature alone.
When he tried to help the injured turtle back into the water, he was hit from behind, punched repeatedly in the back of the head. Blough was then kicked and stomped on for the next several minutes, until neighbors came out and scared the thugs away.
Blough sustained injuries to his face and skull, and may have suffered a concussion. He says he’s more sad for the turtle, though, whose leg he later found in the bushes. Authorities found the turtle’s dead body floating in the apartment complex pond.
Police have arrested Johnnie Beveritt, Ryan Ponder, and the unnamed 16-year-old, charging them with aggravated battery and animal cruelty.