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87-Year Old World War II Veteran Robbed, Beaten

Updated 07/31/12 - 5:59 p.m.

CHICAGO (CBS) -- Three people, including two teenagers, have been charged with attacking and robbing an elderly World War II veteran Monday in the West Englewood neighborhood.

As CBS 2's Derrick Blakley reports, Porter B. Cross, who turns 88 on Thursday, suffered cuts on his chin and bruises under his eye. The robbers smashed his glasses, knocked out his hearing aid, and broke his dentures in the assault.

The robbers took Cross' wallet, but it had no money in it. He had about $27 in cash in his pocket, but the robbers did not get that money.

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From his bed at home on Tuesday, Cross said he blacked out as a result of the attack.

"They hit me with something, and knocked me out, I guess. I don't know exactly what happened," he said.

Cross, who was a Navy sailor during World War II, said he was taking his weekly three-block walk to a liquor store at 71st and Halsted Streets on Monday to play the Lottery.

On his way back, three young men jumped him outside a two-flat at 71st Street and Claremont Avenue, and hit him from behind.

"I generally look around and see if anybody's chasing me, or walking behind me," he said. "I knew they had to come from behind me, because there wasn't nobody in front of me."

His daughter, Cynthia Steward-Jones, said the robbers didn't need to be so violent to take her father's money.

"It was too violent. You break someone's dentures in half in their mouth. You break their glasses on their face. You do this to somebody's parent? You do this to a human being?" she said. "This is not right. I don't know what they were thinking, and I don't care what they were thinking. If they would have asked him for some money, he would have given it to them. They didn't have to treat him like this. This was wrong."

Two drivers passing by saw the muggers flee and followed them, until police arrived.

Two men and a 15-year-old boy were arrested and charged with robbing Cross.

Michael Protho and Rashon Williams
Michael Protho, 17 (left), and Rashon Williams, 20 (right), are both accused of beating and robbing an 87-year-old World War II veteran in Chicago Lawn on July 30, 2012. A 15-year-old boy, not pictured, is also charged in the attack. (Credit: Chicago Police)

Rashon Williams, 20, of Calumet City, and Michael Protho, 17, of Hazel Crest, each have been charged with one count of felony robbery of a victim 60 years or older.

Williams and Protho were ordered held on $500,000 bond on Tuesday.

The 15-year-old who was arrested was charged as a juvenile with felony robbery.

Cross, who was also a postal worker for 36 years, said he's "disappointed" with the young men who robbed him.

"Yeah, I wonder why they would do something like that," he said.

Cross' daughter said she moved to West Englewood less than two years ago, because she thought it was a safer place for her dad. Now, she's having second thoughts.

Cross said he thinks he'll be okay, but he's probably not going out walking on his own anymore.

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