CHANDLER, Ariz. – An Iraq war veteran is recovering from serious injuries after he attempted to stop a violent assault on a woman.
Now, investigators are searching for an 18-year-old man accused of running over the veteran with his vehicle.
“He committed a very serious felony,” Det. Seth Tyler, with the Chandler Police Department, said. “He caused serious, life-threatening injuries to someone who was trying to help.”
Investigators say Steven Richardson, a veteran who served two tours in Iraq, was in the parking lot of a Jack in the Box when he saw a woman being abused.
Witnesses described the attack as “very violent” and while several people told 18-year-old Cody Gibson to stop, Richardson was the only one who got physically involved.
“It really upsets me ’cause that’s not how we treat our ladies,” Richardson told KPHO from his hospital bed. “This is not how we act as a society. This is not how we act as a man.”
Richardson tried to stop Gibson from leaving with the woman, but witnesses say Gibson hit Richardson with his car at full speed.
“The guy came back towards him, and Steve didn’t move,” said Jeromy Cullen, a friend of Richardson. “He went from barely a crawl to full acceleration… [Richardson] went over the hood and into the windshield.”
Richardson, who is suffering from memory loss, says he remembers the pain of being hit.
Now, he is recovering from a cracked skull, a severe concussion and other injuries.
“I’ve got scars and sutures in my skull,” he said. “I got blood coming out of my eardrum.”
Police are now on the hunt for Gibson, who is believed to be hiding on a Native American reservation nearby.
A GoFundMe account has been created to help pay for Richardson’s medical bills. It has already raised over $15,000 in three days.