A 26-year-old U.S. Marine veteran, who for the past 325 days has been running across America to raise awareness and support for veterans and their families, suffered a concussion along with a bloodied and bruised face after a stranger assaulted him in Wilmington, Delaware on Wednesday.
According to former Marine Sergeant Brendan O’Toole, the unprovoked attack on a downtown street was precipitated by nothing more than a “simple hello and how are you doing.”
“I was walking down the street with everybody else when in the middle of passing by this young guy…well, he just rocked me,” O’Toole told Breitbart Sports. “And for no reason… the guy never said a word.
Wilmington Police tweeted a photo of the suspect they had in custody on Wednesday evening:
“I mean I had just passed an elementary school and watched all the kids line up for their buses and 20 yards later, I got hit,” O’Toole said.
After blindsiding O’Toole, the silent assailant immediately fled the scene on foot, leaving O’Toole semi-unconscious on the the concrete.
“From the time I was hit to when I landed on the street, I blacked out,” said O’Toole. “My brain just got rattled.”
Regrettably, the incident marred what was supposed to be a celebration of yet another milestone: the end of Delaware, O’Toole’s thirteenth state.
After completing a four year enlistment in the Marines in June 2012, O’Toole founded The Run for Veterans (TRFV). Last November 11–Veterans Day–O’Toole left Oceanside, California for his 21 state, 3,600 mile cross country run motivated by an honorable cause: to raise support and funds for combat veterans and their families. To date, TRFV has raised over $170,000 and according to O’Toole, after a fundraiser this Friday night in his hometown of Alexandria, VA, it is possible TRFV may break the $200K mark.
While the assailant’s motives may never be known–or understood, O’Toole, nevertheless, has managed to add some humor to the incident to help offset the pain from the concussion induced headache: “I can safely rule out robbery. All I had on me was a pair of running shorts.”