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Former Marine running to raise money for veterans punched

Oct. 3, 2013 - 08:11PM   |  
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WILMINGTON, DEL. — Marine Corps veteran Brendan O’Toole has been running across the country for months to raise money to help veterans who served in Iraq and Afghanistan.

But the former sergeant was attacked without provocation as he ran through downtown Wilmington, Del., police said.

O’Toole, of Alexandria, Va., began his run last November in Oceanside, Calif. Police say he was running through Wilmington Wednesday afternoon when a man suddenly punched him in the face.

Joey Dwyer, director of media for The Run for Veterans, said Thursday that O’Toole suffered a concussion and a cut on his face in the attack. O’Toole is having headaches, Dwyer said, and will visit a doctor on Friday in Washington, where a fundraising event is scheduled for that evening.

“He would like to get back on the road Sunday, but he’ll have to see what the doctor recommends,” Dwyer said.

The spokesman said O’Toole has raised about $180,000 on his run from California to Maine. “He’s been having great support,” Dwyer said.

Before Wednesday’s attack, Dwyer said, the run had been relatively uneventful. He said O’Toole had been bitten by a dog in Texas and was in a minor car crash in South Carolina, but nothing on the magnitude of being punched.

Wilmington police said O’Toole reported the attack on Thursday. Officers say a nearby business’ surveillance camera recorded the incident, and a description of the suspect was distributed downtown.

Several hours later, a suspect was found sleeping in a doorway and was taken into custody.

Twenty-one-year-old Garry Beauford of Chester, Pa., has been charged with second-degree assault.

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