Marine Punched In Face During Fundraising Run - FOX 35 News Orlando

Veteran Punched In Face During Fundraising Run

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Walk a mile in Brendan O'Toole's shoes and you'll learn at the young age of  25 he's co-founded "The Run For Veterans.org."

His cross country run  to raise money for vets started last Veteran's Day. The memory of one of his best friends part of his motivation.

" I  had a friend that inspired me to join the corp and after he turned back from Iraq he took his own  life."

O'Toole is a retired Marine sergeant who survived enemy fire in Afghanistan. But Wednesday police say he was wounded in Wilmington. It happened right before his run to raise money for troops.

"He just came across and cracked me right here, " O'Toole said showing how the man punched him. He snapped a picture of the aftermath. Blood trickling down his face and a lump above his eye.

Police say it happened in downtown Wilmington at 6th and Market.

A day after the alleged attack--- O'Toole back at the Wilmington police department to identify the man who punched him. Police have charged 21-year-old Garry Beauford with the second degree assault.

"The fact that a vet is running through our streets and is assaulted is unacceptable," said Wilmington Police Corporal Mark Ivey.

O'Toole has suffered running injuries, a dog bite and now a physical assault on his cross country journey.

All minor obstacles he says that won't stop him from finishing his year long run to raise money for troops struggling to transition back to civilian life.

"We  made the commitment to a lot of families and vets that need help. Until we get the job done right were just talking so we need to do the walking and complete it

The retired Marine is back home in Arlington, VA for now to see a doctor about  his possible concussion. He's also there to donate $150,000 thousand dollars he's raised to 3-veterans organizations.

He plans to return to Wilmington Sunday or Monday to raise more money and run with the policemen he says did a heck of a job catching the man charged with attacking him.

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