WINTER HAVEN -- Police say they have arrested a suspect in the attack of a 90-year-old man in a Publix parking lot.
Gregory Leonard Krizan, 24, has been charged with aggravated battery of a person older than 65. He has been taken to Polk County Jail.
The Winter Haven Police Department says on October 25, just before 5 p.m., the 90-year-old Air Force veteran was backing out of parking space at Publix at the same time a black four-door, possibly a Kia, was driving down the same aisle in the wrong direction. According to the victim, he looked behind and the aisle appeared clear and he backed out. But the black car came down the wrong direction and the two vehicles hit.
There was only minor damage to the cars, but the occupants of the other vehicle got out and two people started yelling and cursing at the elderly man.
Another shopper, Hiram Davis, saw the altercation and stepped in to help the elderly veteran.
"I said, 'Yo, don't argue at that guy. That's somebody's father or grandfather right there,'" Davis said.
Davis said he and the man walked away. That's when one of the men from the other vehicle hit the veteran, causing him to land on his face on the pavement, according to police. The man lost consciousness for some time.
"He was ambushed," Police Chief Charlie Bird. "He got hit in the back of the head, so the guy that struck him wasn't even facing him when he hit him. That's the true definition of a coward."
Both suspects started to get back into their vehicle before Davis attempted to keep the vehicle from leaving. He was dragged a short while, as seen in the surveillance video. The vehicle continued to leave the parking lot and the witness did not have any injuries.
The 90-year-old man was taken to a hospital where he suffers from a severe cut on his head and large face cuts. His status has improved and he is expected to survive.
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