VA Employee Arrested After Footage of an Elderly Vietnam Veteran Being Brutally Beaten Emerges
An employee of the Department of Veterans Affairs Clinic at Fort McPherson in Atlanta has been arrested in connection with an incident in which a veteran was beaten at the clinic, and it was recorded on surveillance video.
The VA employee Lawrence F. Gaillard Jr., was working as a patient advocate at the time of the April 28 incident, WSB-TV in Atlanta reported Monday.
Video made public this week shows what happened to Vietnam veteran Phillip Webb, 73. WSB reported that it filed a Freedom of Information Act request and waited more than a month for the video.
I’ve obtained by FOIA surveillance video of the brutal beating of elderly Vietnam vet by a VA employee at an Atlanta VA clinic. @2Investigates was 1st to report on the attack last month. The attacker, Lawrence Gaillard is still employed by VA. @wsbtv at 6https://t.co/oLCyCNa8ea pic.twitter.com/A87YTvSK2q
— Justin Gray (@JustinGrayWSB) June 20, 2022
The video obscures the face of the VA employee involved. But, according to a WSB report from May 23, a police report in court papers said it showed Gaillard “punching Mr. Webb in the face with both fists, moving him backwards until he was pinned up against the wall. Mr. Gaillard was seen placing his hands around Mr. Webb’s neck then proceeded to body slam him to the floor.”
“Mr. Gaillard then kicked Mr. Webb in the head several times while he was on the floor,” the report stated, according to WSB.
According to WSB’s report Monday, Webb said the incident started when he knocked on the door in the clinic’s waiting room to inform Gaillard he was going to the bathroom. He was waiting to discuss scheduling hernia surgery.
“I guess he got upset because I hit at his door,” Webb told the station.
Webb said he spent three days in a hospital with a brain bleed after the incident, according to WSB.
“He was Mike Tyson-ing me there,” Webb told the station. “I’m just stunned. I don’t know what to say.”
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, citing federal court papers, reported that Gaillard was fired on May 23 — almost a month after the incident.
According to WSB’s report Monday, the VA issued a statement on the 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.”
The charges against Gaillard were dropped by the U.S. Attorney’s Office, citing jurisdictional issues, according to WSB. The case was turned over to Fulton County District Attorney Fanni Willis for investigation.
In WSB’s May 23 report, Webb said he didn’t understand why he became a victim.
“He said, ‘Man, I’ll go upside your head,’ and I told him, ‘No you won’t,’ and that’s all I remember,” Webb said.
“I was trying to figure out why did he hit me. I’m still trying to figure out why did he hit me, you know?” Webb said.
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