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86-Year-Old Vet Injured during Carjacking at Detroit Gas Station

Detroit carjacker broke veteran’s leg but not his spirit

 By Judi McLeod  Sunday, February 26, 2012

The phone at Aaron Brantley’s Detroit house is “ringing off the hook” this morning.
“It’s family members and people from the Corinthian Missionary Baptist Church which he attends,” his granddaughter Ladeno told Canada Free Press (CFP).
“His leg pains him but he’s in good spirits.”

Aaron Brantley is the 86-year-old World War II veteran that nobody helped after he had to crawl across a concrete parking lot to get help when he was attacked and carjacked in full daylight at a Detroit gas station.

A surveillance video, first obtained by the Detroit Free Press,  shows Brantley struggling to get from the fuel pump to the gas station’s door—while people walked and drove by him Wednesday morning.

“Brantley told the Associated Press several people passed by him as he crawled, unable to walk because his leg was broken in the attack.  The carjacker knocked Brantley down, took his keys and drove off in his car about 10:40 a.m.” (The Blaze, Feb. 26, 2012).

“It’s true that my grandfather was on his way home from Bible Church when all of this happened,” said his granddaughter.

“I’m crawling and trying to get in the filling station. (People) just walking right by me and going on in the filling station there…if I saw somebody crawling like that on the ground, I would have stopped myself,” Brantley told myFOXdetroit.com.

“I was trying to go in…and see if somebody could call the police and an ambulance because I couldn’t stand.  I had to crawl—I tried two or three times to get up,” Brantley said Saturday.  He said he was on his 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.

“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.

“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 telephone 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.

“Brantley raised eight kids, served in the military and is a retired welder.”

Laid up on his front room sofa with his broken leg this morning, and trying to take part in the conversation from across the room, the war vet was being attended to by his granddaughter.

Asked whether her grandfather had an email address for people to send notes thanking him for his service to his country, Ladeno said that her grandfather had no email address, nor did any of his family members.

Ladeno told CFP she would pass on the message that many people regard her grandfather as a true hero, the kind of man America is all about.

When told that her grandfather had a winning smile in his photos,  she chuckled, saying “we all know that.”

Asked how people could send any kind of help her grandfather might need,  she replied, “He has pretty much all he needs.  He’s in really good spirits even though his leg still hurts.”

Adored by his family, Brantley has always been the kind of man who doesn’t complain.  When his last car was stolen, he went out and bought another.  When his leg makes him wince in pain, he tries to joke his family members out of worrying about him, saying “everything will be alright”.

Although Brantley’s telephone number is listed, no politician has called the house.

“The only people who have called are other family members and folk from the Corinthian Missionary Baptist Church, checking in to see how he is, and they’ve been ringing the phone off the hook,” Ladeno said.

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Judi McLeod  Bio
Judi McLeod Most recent columns


Judi McLeod is an award-winning journalist with 30 years experience in the print media. A former Toronto Sun columnist, she also worked for the Kingston Whig Standard. Her work has appeared on Rush Limbaugh, Newsmax.com, Drudge Report, Foxnews.com, and Glenn Beck.



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