A blind U.S. Army veteran, Bill Graves, 75, was allegedly punched in the face by a local politician in the Newark, New Jersey, area.
The suspect in the assault is Leroy Jones, the chairman of the Essex County Democratic Committee and a career politician.
Surveillance video (see clip below) captured the confrontation which occurred on June 2, but is just now emerging on social media.
Graves is apparently legally blind in one eye and completely blind in the other as a result of complications from cataracts and glaucoma.
The incident occurred at an East Orange voting precinct on primary day for the town council where Graves was volunteering as a poll worker.
Perhaps that timeworn expression “politics is a contact sport” may unfortunately be taken literally by some officials in the Garden State.
“Graves and his friends say the attack was sparked by petty political bickering; that Graves had been backing a candidate Jones was not,” WABC Channel 7 in New York City reported.
Jones reportedly faces a charge of simple assault, a misdemeanor, as a result of the encounter.
“You can see on the tape it was intentional. If I went to hit you and just hurt you, I would hit you here. If I’m trying to knock you out I’m going to hit you here. If I hit you up here [referring to his eyes], I’m hitting you in a vulnerable spot,” Graves explained to a WABC reporter.
Referring to additional vision problems arising from the alleged assault, the military veteran described himself as “angry, disgusted, because why should I have to run back and forth to the doctor because someone decided to hit me.”
According to CBS News New York, Leroy Jones claims that it was instead the blind Army vet who actually started the altercation by throwing the first punch.
“The politician said Graves got aggressive with his wife while she was checking credentials at the poll site, so she called her husband over to protect her. Jones said his intention was to have a civil conversation with Graves until the 74-year-old supposedly punched him.”
“This man threatened my wife. This man assaulted my wife. This man charged at my wife,” the career Democrat politician insisted. Graves was not charged in the encounter, however.
According to NJ.com, neither Jones’ lawyer nor the East Orange police have as yet made a public statement about the incident.
Watch WABC 7’s report on the alleged assault on the blind Army veteran/senior citizen in East Orange, New Jersey.
[image via YouTube]