Elkhart man in wheelchair beaten, robbed speaks out

NOW: Elkhart man in wheelchair beaten, robbed speaks out


ELKHART, Ind. - Two weeks ago ABC57 brought you the story about a man in a wheelchair beat and robbed by two people outside an Elkhart church.

On Monday, 61-year-old Donnie Jackson speaks out about this experience and why the money lost hurts him especially.

Jackson has lived in Indiana most of his life, even if it wasn’t always inside a home.

“I’m homeless, I live in the area outside. I have some things in the work. Try to get me a place. But at the present time I’m out and about and homeless," Jackson said.

After losing his legs to health issues, including congestive heart failure, he still finds a way to stay positive.

“I used to tell people I walked my legs off, little kids you know," he said.

But on June 29th, he was trying to get some rest outside Central Christian Church on West Franklin Street in Elkhart when two strangers approached.

“I was sitting up there on the porch just relaxing you know before I bed down and the two-pair came up there," he said.

Surveillance video from the church hows the couple come up to Jackson, who’s sitting in his wheelchair, asking about drugs and then he says the woman saw his cash.

“She seen the money in my pocket," Jackson said. "And then she just ripped my pocket down and said give me that.”

In self-defense, he grabbed her hand and started biting her when the man in the white t-shirt starts throwing punches.

“So he hits me and I said ‘oh you going to hit me?’ he said yeah you’re biting her hand, well she’s stealing my money," he said.

The couple seen running away, witnesses nearby calling the police.

“It all happened so quick," he said.

And the money? Well, it’s gone.

“$30, just $30, $30," he said.

But that $30 is a lot for someone homeless and seeking shelter at a church.

“It’s a lot to me," he said. "But it’s not worth risking your life.”

Once police shared the video, they did identify the suspects, now Jackson is just hoping the pair get caught.

“I hope they’re arrested. I wouldn’t do that to anyone who is disabled, elderly or a child, or anyone really" he said.

Officials at the Elkhart Police Department said detectives have not located the suspects yet and that they are now filing for a warrant.

Jackson said he believes the suspects were looking for money for drugs and that there need to be more services to help the homeless and prevent attacks like his.

“They’re going to happen, it might just not happen as often," he said. "Drug treatment centers do help they are a godsend.”

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