Neighbors call beating, robbery of 86-year-old veteran ‘cowardly’

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (May 6, 2015) – Indianapolis Metropolitan Police are investigating the brutal beating and robbery of an 86-year-old Army veteran.

Alfred Kurtz told police he was in the front yard of his home in the 3500 block of North Capitol Avenue late Tuesday morning, when a man in his 20s or 30s tried to enter through his front gate.  When Kurtz told the young man to stay out, the suspect started punching Kurtz repeatedly in the mouth.

“He didn’t say one word,” Kurtz said.  “He just started pummeling me.”

The beating knocked out two of the victim’s teeth.  When Kurtz fell to the ground, he says the man got on top of him and kept punching.

“He didn’t seem angry,” Kurtz said.  “He was just methodical in what he was doing.  And he didn’t care about anybody across the street.”

A neighbor across the street saw the attack and yelled at the suspect to leave Kurtz alone.  That’s when the young man reached into Kurtz’s front shirt pocket.

“He tore the wallet out of my shirt,” Kurtz said.  “And then he didn’t run.  He just walked off.  He was confident in what he was doing.”

The wallet contained more than $900 in cash from Kurtz’s Social Security check.  Kurtz was preparing to use the money to pay his monthly bills.  It’s not known if they suspect knew Kurtz had that much cash on him.  Either way, neighbors and Metro Police were calling the attack a a cowardly act.

“Children and the elderly are out most vulnerable and here this person is trying to take advantage of this elderly gentleman,” said IMPD Officer Chris Wilburn.

Neighbors were shaking their heads about the crime.

“To do things like that to an 86-year-old man,” said neighbor William Smith.  “It could have been his mother’s father.”

Kurtz, who was wearing an Army Veteran hat at the time of the attack, says he is thankful that he wasn’t injured more seriously.  But he’s also saddened by the brutality of the young suspect.

“I would tell him to change his habits,” Kurtz said.

He also said he does keep a loaded shotgun inside his house.  But even if he had been able to reach the gun, he would not have shot the suspect.  He says he wouldn’t want to put the young man’s mother through that.

Kurtz told police the suspect was wearing a blue hoodie and black shorts at the time of the attack.  He was about 5’ 7’’ tall.  Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at (317) 262-TIPS.

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