World War II veteran attacked outside hospital after visiting ill wife

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CINCINNATI, Ohio (WLWT) – A World War II veteran is preparing for surgery after he was attacked in a hospital parking lot after visiting his sick wife.

Authorities say 86-year-old Paul Browning was walking to his car after visiting his 89-year-old wife in the hospital when he was beaten up by an attacker.

Family members say Browning was visiting Ilda, his wife of 65 years, every day after she became sick.

According to WLWT, as he was walking to his car, Browning was attacked.

Police say the alleged attacker, 30-year-old Craig Phelps, punched the war veteran continuously, pushed him to the ground and tried to steal his wallet.

“After he beat him down to the ground and tried to take his wallet, my dad let him know he wasn’t going to get his wallet. Then he reached down and helped lift him up and told him he was sorry and that he thought he was somebody else,” said Marvin Browning, Paul’s son.

Instead of going back to the hospital, he drove home.

“He’s just so tough, I wouldn’t expect a little old man like that to take a punch the way he did,” said Jimmy Browning Jr., Paul’s grandson.

Browning’s family made him go back to the hospital for treatment.

That’s when doctors became concerned about an irregular heartbeat.

Browning is scheduled for surgery on Wednesday morning but the family said doctors are not sure if the attack caused the heart issue.

“He’s sore. His face is sore. It’s still swollen. He had stitches on the inside of his gums, so (he’s) got a little soreness there,” said Marvin.

Craig Phelps has been arrested and is facing charges of attempted robbery and possession of cocaine and drug-abuse instruments.

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