Vietnam veteran suffers brain bleed after VA ‘patient advocate’ goes ‘Mike Tyson’ on him

Startling surveillance video purports to show a Department of Veterans Affairs patient advocate allegedly grabbing an elderly veteran by the neck, throwing him to the floor, and stomping him twice.

“He was Mike Tyson-ing me there,” the victim claimed.

Based on the 30-second clip, and there may be additional, as-yet-undisclosed facts and recordings to follow, it appears that the victim may have made first contact with the VA worker with his left hand. Whether that justified the alleged beatdown that followed is another matter entirely.

According to CBS Atlanta affiliate WSB-TV, which got hold of the video obtained by its investigative reporter Justin Gray through a Freedom of Information Act request after a month-and-a-half waiting period, the victim, 73-year-old Vietnam War veteran Phillip Webb, suffered a brain bleed in the attack which required three days of hospitalization.

The employee at the Fort McPherson military base in Atlanta was reportedly arrested for felony assault and subsequently bonded out, but as of Monday was reportedly still on the job, presumably owing to public sector labor union procedures. His job status may have since changed, however.

He faces charges in Fulton County court after the case was transferred from federal jurisdiction.

“Webb said he knocked on the door in the waiting room to let [the patient advocate] know he was going to the bathroom. He was waiting to discuss scheduling hernia surgery,” WSB explained. “I guess he got upset because I hit at his door,” Webb theorized.

“For them to let him come back to work, that’s dangerous,” he added.

The VA issued a statement about the disturbing incident: “We are horrified at the video of a V.A. employee assaulting a Veteran at the Atlanta VA Health Care System on April 28. This disturbing behavior is contrary to our core values of treating Veterans with the dignity and respect they deserve. We take this matter seriously and will cooperate fully with Fulton County law enforcement.”

In an update, the military news website Task & Purpose reported on Thursday that, according to a VA spokesman, “The employee has been indefinitely suspended without pay. The indefinite suspension is in place and we are unable to comment further as the matter remains under investigation.”

The armchair sleuths on Twitter are opining on this disturbing incident. Here is just a sample of the debate:

All suspects are presumed innocent until or unless they are convicted in a court of law of any alleged crimes.

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