SLIDELL, LA (WVUE) - "This wasn't a fight. This was a beating of a 73-year-old man on Old Spanish Trail by two young punks," says Slidell Police Chief Randy Fandal.
Fandal calls the case disturbing and senseless - a road rage incident that led to the beating of an elderly man in broad daylight.
"This was an old man who heard two kids, or two guys, hollering at him as he passed them on Old Spanish Trail," says Randal.
Police say 19-year-old Bret McCraney and 26-year-old Adonis Young were walking in the street when the victim almost hit them with his car. Police say the victim stopped his vehicle and McCraney and Young took that as a sign of aggression.
"They felt like the 73-year-old man attempted to roll over them on Old Spanish Trail. They screamed and hollered at him. He pulled over. That's when the beating took place," says Fandal.
Police say McCraney told them he "felt like he had to defend his territory" and "show him what was up".
"There was a stop sign coming up and they were in the way. They tried to open the door, and he was trying to keep the door shut. They ended up getting the door open and somebody came from the other door and that's what happened," says the victim's relative.
The relative, who asked not to be named, told FOX 8 that the victim is a peaceful man and was not being aggressive.
"All he said was, 'I remember some people in the street' and he honked the horn at them. There was no rage. He's a retired old guy that lives in Slidell," the relative says.
A witness called police and officers arrested McCraney and Young at a nearby home. The victim sustained severe injuries.
"He had a broken nose, and his cheek bone is cracked. His eye socket is broken, too," says the victim's relative.
"Unbelievable. The disregard for human life by people these days is ridiculous. We're not going to put up with it here. One of these are from New Orleans. If he gets out of prison, he needs to stay in New Orleans," says Fandal.
Both suspects are booked with second-degree battery and disturbing the peace.
"Keep them in jail. That's where they belong. I don't care if they're young kids or whatever. They are obviously not doing anybody any favors walking the streets, so keep them in jail," says the victim's relative.