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Air Force veteran, 90, attacked after minor crash in Winter Haven Publix (w/video)

WINTER HAVEN — Winter Haven police are trying to find two people they say attacked a 90-year-old Air Force veteran in a Publix parking lot on Wednesday.

According to police, around 4:50 p.m., the elderly man — who has not been identified — was backing his vehicle out of a parking space at a Publix at 1395 6th St. NW.

At the same time, a black 4-door vehicle, possibly a Kia, was driving down the same aisle in the wrong direction.

The victim told police he looked behind him and it appeared the aisle was clear for him to back out. However, the black vehicle appeared from the wrong direction and the two vehicles collided, police said.

While there was only minor damage to the cars, the two suspects in the black vehicle got out and started cursing, yelling and causing a disturbance, police said.

The argument escalated and went on for nearly six minutes as bystanders watched, police said.

Then one of the suspects from the black vehicle struck the man and he fell to the pavement, police said. He face and head struck the pavement and he briefly lost consciousness.

The suspects started to get back in the vehicle when a witness tried to keep them from leaving, police said.

The witness was dragged a short distance before falling to the ground, and surveillance video shows the vehicle speeding off and out of the parking lot. The witness was not injured.

The elderly man was taken to Winter Haven Hospital, where he was admitted for injuries including a severe cut to his head, large facial scrapes and bruising on his arms. Police said his condition was improving Friday and his injuries are not considered life-threatening.

Due to the length of time that the disturbance occurred, police believe there were witnesses who recorded the incident — even before the veteran was injured.

Anyone who saw the incident and possibly recorded what happened is asked to call (863)-401-2256.

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