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WWII veteran says nobody helped him after he was carjacked, injured

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(CBS/AP) DETROIT - A World War II veteran said nobody helped him in the minutes after he was attacked during a daytime carjacking at a busy Detroit gas station and he had to crawl across a concrete parking lot to get help.

A surveillance video shows Aaron Brantley, 86, struggling to get from the fuel pump to the gas station's door to get help as people walked and drove by him Wednesday morning. The video was first obtained by the Detroit Free Press.

Brantley said he was on the way home from Bible study when he stopped to put gas in his 2010 Chrysler 200, which he recently bought to replace another car that had been stolen.The carjacker knocked Brantley down, took his keys and drove off in his car about 10:40 a.m.

Brantley told The Associated Press said several people passed by him as he crawled, unable to walk because his leg was broken in the attack.

 "People were passing me just like I wasn't there...I was crawling and they just walk by me like I'm not there," he said.

Brantley said as he approached the building, he asked a woman to open the door for him. He said at first it appeared she wasn't going to but she did and then kept walking. He found it distressing that nobody helped him.

Station manager Haissam Jaber said he didn't see the attack but called 911 after a customer alerted him. As Brantley sat on rock salt, waiting for an ambulance to come, he offered money to a stranger to drive him to his house a few blocks away. The customer refused the money and drove Brantley home, where an ambulance took him to the hospital.

Jaber said he also gave police another surveillance video from just before the carjacking that shows Brantley coming in to pay the cashier. A man looked at Brantley and left without buying anything, then headed in the direction from which the carjacker approached Brantley and his car, Jaber said.

Detroit Police spokeswoman Sgt. Eren Stephens said Saturday there have been no arrests in the case. The Free Press reported that a man later found Brantley's phone number in his Bible on the stolen car's front seat and called him. The car had been abandoned hours later and a few miles away with its wheels and radio missing.

The gas station manager said violent crime isn't common at the location, which is next to the University of Detroit Mercy campus. He said there was a carjacking about four months ago, but it happened at 1 a.m. and nobody was harmed.


  • Crimesider Staff

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