Elderly WWII veteran beaten, robbed | $500k bond set for suspects

July 31, 2012 (CHICAGO)

Bond was set at $500,000 each for Rashon E. Williams, 20, and Michael Protho, 17, when they appeared in court on Tuesday. The third suspect is a minor.

Police News Affairs said Williams and Protho are each charged with one count of felony robbery of a victim 60 years or older. Protho is also charged with one misdemeanor count of reckless conduct for running into oncoming traffic while trying to elude pursuing police officers.

An unidentified 15-year-old teenager, also charged with felony robbery, will have his case handled in juvenile court, Police News Affairs said.

Cross was walking home from the store after buying a lottery ticket- part of his routine every Monday morning.

"This is the only day he goes out to walk. I asked do you want me to play the lottery and he said no it's Monday, this is the day I'm going to do it," said Cross' daughter Cynthia Steward-Jones.

The store is only four blocks from the home Cross shares with his daughter in the 7100 block of South Claremont Avenue. Cross said he had almost returned home, when he was attacked.

The man and teenagers allegedly broke Cross's dentures and glasses, knocked out his hearing aid and stole his wallet, police said.

"I feel sorry for them. That they would do something like this," said Cross.

Cell phone video, shot by building owner Marta Omarr moments after the attack, shows Cross on the ground receiving medical attention.

"Who does this to a senior, a person on a cane? You have to be evil. Who raised you? Did someone raise you?" said Cross' daughter Cynthia Steward-Jones.

"He's someone's grandfather," said Omarr.

Cross, who will turn 88 on Thursday, says he is saddened by the actions of the younger generation.

"I don't understand them kids. I don't know what's happening," said Cross. "I didn't see anybody. All of a sudden everything went black."

Two good Samaritans saw what happened. They chased the offenders and identified them for police.

"Words cannot express how grateful we are that these young people are off the street, because it could have been worse, and I thank God that it wasn't," said Steward-Jones.

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