Elderly veteran assaulted at gas station near Otsego

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OTSEGO TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — An 86-year-old veteran was hospitalized after he was assaulted at a gas station near Otsego Wednesday.

It happened around 1 p.m. at the Circle K on M-89 near US-131 in Otsego Township.

The Circle K where the attack happened.

Bill Simpson, an 86-year-old veteran, was pulling up to a gas pump as the suspect was also pulling up to the same pump, the Allegan County Sheriff’s Office said in a release.

The suspect got out of his vehicle and assaulted Simpson, the sheriff’s office said. It said the suspect then immediately left the scene.

Simpson was brought to the hospital with severe facial injuries, officials say.

He has since been released from the hospital and says he cannot believe someone would result to violence over a gas pump.

“I said, ‘I’ve been sitting here for five minutes waiting for gas guy.’ I said, ‘You just come off the highway,’ and then he just smacked me,” Simpson said. “If it was me pulling in there like that and I seen the guy and see he had a veteran’s hat on I would have said, ‘Go ahead fella, you earned it,’ but he didn’t say that. He was for himself.”

Bill Simpson’s granddaughter, Kayla Simpson, is hopeful someone comes forward to help investigators solve the case and says her grandfather has a lot of recovery ahead of him.

“Justice needs to be served for my grandpa, he didn’t deserve any of this,” Kayla Simpson said. “He’s still really sore … his nose is broke, his jaw is fractured.”

Despite the injuries, the veteran says he is willing to forgive the person who hit him.

“All I would like to do is to have the guy apologize to me for doing this and then go on his way,” he said.

The suspect’s car is a white vehicle with a temporary paper license plate in the rear-window, the sheriff’s office said.

He is described as a Black man in his 20s or 30s, with light-green dreadlocks. Deputies say a woman was with him sitting in the passenger seat.

An award is offered for information that leads to the arrest of the suspect. Anyone with information should contact the sheriff’s office at 269.673.0500 or Silent Observer at 1.800.554.3633.

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