By Hadas Kuznits and Walt Hunter
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – A Vietnam veteran who lost his eye while serving his country was violently beaten during a random attack by a group of teens on a Philadelphia street earlier this week.READ MORE: Police: 2-Year-Old Byron McDonald Found Safe, Alleged Abductor Connected To Recent Homicides Of Boy's Mother, Grandmother
The attack happened shortly after 6 p.m. Tuesday in the 5000 block of N. 5th Street in the city’s Olney section.
“These animals are specializing on our elderly people out here and a gentleman who served our country,” Lt. George McClay said.
According to investigators, 64-year-old Edward Schaefer was walking to meet his wife at the bus stop when he was approached from behind by six males.
McClay said one of the suspects began the violent attack and the others joined in on the random beating.
Watch The Video (Courtesy: Philadelphia Police Department)
The suspects then fled the scene on foot after police say a good Samaritan came to the victim’s rescue.READ MORE: Philadelphia Officials Begin Clearing Homeless Encampment Near Reading Terminal Market
“He fell and that’s when I came across the street. When they saw me, that’s when they scattered,” said Donald Jones. “He was trying to talk and I said, ‘No, stay there. I got you.'”
Schaefer was rushed to Albert Einstein Medical Center with fractured skull and severe injuries to his face and hand.
“I’m disgusted by this whole thing,” McClay said. “I’m surprised he survived.”
McClay said “one more shot the wrong way” and this could have been a homicide investigation.
The suspects are described as six black and Hispanic males, between the ages of 16 to 18. Authorities say all of the suspects have been identified. Once they have been apprehended, they could be charged with attempted murder.
The Fraternal Order of Police is offering a $1,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the suspects.MORE NEWS: Two Delaware County School Districts Opening Vaccination Clinics For Students Ages 16 Or Older
Anyone with information is urged to call 215-686-TIPS (8477) or 215-686-3353/54.