An outpouring of support, from within and outside the department, has prompted Wilmington Police to host a ceremonial run for the military veteran who was punched in the face Wednesday.
Brandon O’Toole suffered a facial laceration and a concussion after Garry Beauford suddenly and without provocation punched O’Toole in the 600 block of N. Market St.
Surveillance video led officers to Beauford, 21, of Chester, PA, who was found the next day by safety ambassadors with Downtown Visions sleeping in a doorway about five blocks from where the assault was reported. Beauford was charged with assault and remains in custody.
O’Toole, who was running through downtown Wilmington as part of a cross country trek from California to Maine raising awareness about veterans issues, was encouraged by doctors to postpone the next leg of his journey until next week. Before he resumes his run Monday, police, veterans and community members will send O’Toole off with a ceremonial three-mile loop that will start and end at the Public Safety Building on West 4th St.
Monday’s run begins at 9 a.m. and is open to the public. Police say the run is an opportunity to not only show support for O’Toole, but also for all active and retired military members. Meantime, Corporal Mark Ivey with the department says several local veterans have stepped up offering to house O’Toole while he recuperates.