MANLIUS, NY – A man wanted for physically assaulting a disabled Army veteran at a Fayetteville Dunkin’ Donuts, has been identified and now faces criminal charges.
Manlius Police reported that the Army veteran and his service dog were at the donut store’s counter when he was confronted by another man over an issue regarding the animal.
The veteran responded, stating that “this is a working service animal, stay away,” at which point the suspect punched the veteran twice in the face before fleeing the donut shop with a woman and his child.
The veteran, whose physical disabilities are the result of injuries he sustained in combat, was knocked to the ground and later required stitches.
Police reached out to the public with surveillance photos in an attempt to find the assailant, and the suspect was later identified as 21-year-old Dominick Vidal of Syracuse, NY,
Vidal later turned himself in “to claim responsibility for his actions” after his coworkers told him they saw his pictures on the news.
Vidal said that he became angry with the victim and punched him twice in the face after the veteran told his daughter that she should not pet his dog because it was a service animal.
He later stated that he overreacted and that he “should not have done what he did.”
The 21-year-old now stands charged with third-degree assault and endangering the welfare of a child, both of which are misdemeanors.
Vidal is scheduled to appear in court on Jan. 12.