1 teen arrested in vet beating, others cleared

January 20, 2012 8:14:56 PM PST
A 15-year-old boy has been arrested in the beating of a 64-year-old Vietnam veteran while other teens are being cleared.

64 year old Edward Schaefer has been released from the hospital.

Schaefer, a Vietnam veteran, suffered a broken jaw and fractured eye sockets when he was attacked Tuesday night on North 5th street in the Olney section of Philadelphia.

A 15 year old boy was arraigned on attempted murder charges Friday.

The 15-year-old is charged with Attempted Murder, Assault, Recklessly Endangering Another Person, Terroristic Threats, and Conspiracy.

Police said another 15-year-old is expected to be arrested in this case.

On Friday, new details about that surveillance video emerged. While six teens were seen in the video, police now say it was not one group, but two groups of three boys that happened to be walking nearby.

Action News spoke with Cassandra Pressley, the mother of one of the boys in the group that was not involved in the attack.

"I just want my son's name cleared," Pressley said.

She said her son, 14-year-old Andrew Henlon and two friends, had been heading to a nearby Chinese restaurant Tuesday evening near North 5th Street.

Andrew said he and his friends were joking with his barber at his shop. It was at that time, he said, that a second group of three boys happened to be walking nearby.

Police say one of the teens in Andrew's group knew someone in the second group- but confirmed this was a chance encounter. Police say Andrew and several other boys had nothing to do with robbing and beating of Schaefer.

"He is not one of the suspects who beat this man. Him and two other boys were just walking to the store. They're just a victim of circumstance," Pressley said.

"We were in the wrong place at the wrong time," said Andrew.

Police had released surveillance video in an effort to track down the people who robbed and attacked Schaeffer. The footage generated a number of tip calls and led to the arrest of a 15 year old boy.

? While the video helped identify the suspects, Presley wants to make sure it's clear her son is not one of them. The 8th grader is an honor roll student who loves skateboarding and, in past years, shoveled snow for the victim.

For Andrew's part, his thoughts are with Schaeffer.

? "I really do hope that he gets better," Andrew said.

Schaeffer is set to undergo surgery for his facial and skull injuries.