DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35) - Three young men are behind bars after Daytona Beach Police say they injured a disabled veteran and tortured a turtle.
"He had the turtle like this, slamming it down. Somebody has cleaned up the side walk now. It was covered in blood," said Gary Blough.
The disabled Navy veteran says his wife had taken their toddler to get them mail when the two came back crying hysterically Tuesday afternoon.
"They said there was three guys out here killing at turtle," said Blough.
He says when he walked outside, three guys were torturing the animal.
"To see the guy throwing the turtle down on its shell as hard as he could and they were kicking the turtle that way, away from the lake away from the pond," said Blough.
He says he asked the guys to leave it alone, then tried helping the turtle back to the water.
"While I had my head turned two of them started hitting me in the back of the head and punching me. Next thing I know we're in a scuffle and I'm fighting three of them at the same time defending myself."
He says the three men punched him, got him on the ground then kicked him repeatedly. His eye is still purple and severely swollen.
"The swelling is going down," said Blough who pointed to where they guy kicked and punched him in the back of his head.
He says he may have a concussion, but that he's in better shape than that turtle.
"One of it's legs was up here," said Blough, pointing towards some bushes next to an apartment building. "When he got slapped that down it shot stuff outside. So, I don't doubt the turtle died," said Blough.
Police officers arrested all three suspects, charging each with aggravated battery and animal cruelty. Garry's wife is still shocked by what she saw.
"My husband who is disabled tried to save a poor animals life and he gets beaten up," said Jennifer Blough.
Police say a responding officer last saw the turtle in the water with is a cloud of blood. When another officer went to check on it, it was gone, they believe the turtle died and sank.