Police search for men who beat disabled vet in Whitehaven parking lot

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A disabled veteran and cancer survivor says he was beaten down by a group of men as he tried to get into his SUV outside a Whitehaven convenience store.

Anthony Nelson says he reached for his keys to open his door, then all of a sudden he was fighting for his life. He was kicked and punched so hard, he was left unconscious and is now missing a tooth.

It all happened back in November at King Discount Store on Elvis Presley.

"I am lucky to be alive," Nelson said.

Surveillance video shows Nelson trying to fight back against the first assailant, and didn't give in until a second man got in on the attack.

"I remember being on the ground and kicking up at him and I remember him saying, 'Oh man what are you doing?'"

Police say they are looking for a total of five men, possibly teenagers, in connection with the beating.

Police believe the motive was carjacking.

Police released this photo of one of the suspects.

Four of the suspects drove off in Nelson's car. The fifth suspect ran off in another direction.

No one stopped to help Nelson. Eventually, bruised and battered, he found a way to walk home, two blocks away.

He remembers calling for his wife before collapsing on their porch in pain.

"He is kind of more easy about it," said his wife, Zda. "I am insulted."

She wants all five men caught  and wants the store to keep people from loitering.

Store owner Abdo Ghanem says he's on top of that.

"I don't let people stand outside, but that night I was so busy in the kitchen," Ghanem said.

He says he's even put in more parking lot lights to make sure what happened to Nelson doesn't happen again.

The suspects also stole some money from Nelson’s car and eventually ditched his Ford escape not far from the store.

He says he'd recognize the men if he saw them again, especially that first guy who punched him.

What’s more, Ghanem said he believes he saw the young men back at the store a few days later.

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