***Warning: The video above may be disturbing to some. Viewer discretion is advised***
AKRON, Ohio (WJW) – Police are trying to identify three suspects accused of attacking veterans outside of American Legion Post 449 in Akron on Saturday.
Security cameras at the post were recording as a 45-year-old member and volunteer stepped outside to take a break.
The video shows a light-colored car drive up in front of him and within seconds, a man got out of the car and started throwing punches at the victim in what police describe as a completely unprovoked attack.
Inside the post, two veterans realized something was happening and went outside to break it up.
The video shows two other men get out of the car. In the video, you can see all of them beating and kicking the veterans, throwing them to the ground.
“It’s messed up,” said Post Commander John Life. “Do [they] get kicks out of it? I don’t understand that. I don’t know.”
Commander Life hurried to the scene from a wedding, but he said he could not bring himself to look at the video until he was showing it to Akron Police detectives on Tuesday.
“[The first victim], he’s a single father and he does a lot. He comes down here, he has volunteered so much of his own time. He will come down here and cook in the kitchen on his own time, we don’t pay him anything,” said Life.
While there is no known motive for the beating, Life says the video appears to show the driver of the car holding up a phone as if to record the passenger throwing the first punches.
With the veterans on the ground, the video shows the three men getting back in the car and driving away.
All three of the victims were left with facial injuries, including cuts, black eyes and bruising.
One victim, according to the post commander, may need surgery to repair the damage to one of his eyes.
“In that they are veterans, or at least one of those gentlemen were, that’s the unfortunate thing for us is it is very disappointing, you know, for any member of the community, including veterans, to be attacked in this fashion,” said Lt. Miller.
Police are working to identify and arrest the three suspects. They hope they can charge them in such a way that deters anyone else from attempting to repeat this crime.
“You serve because you are selfless and you give because you have a heart, and then you are met with this type of a circumstance,” said Miller.