CLEVELAND — It's a meeting that has been months in the making. The veteran who was brutally attacked in broad daylight inside the garage at the Louis Stokes VA Medical Center just days before Veteran’s Day met the two men who came to help him.
Peter Hoban was on his way to the hospital on November 7, 2021 when he was attacked by two teenagers.
“I heard them jump off the wall, heard their feet hit the ground, they approached me from the back, asked for money, I told them no, I don’t have any — they then kind of ran after me,” said Hoban.
That's when the teenagers started attacking Hoban. The then-72-year-old held his own for a while but then started yelling for help.
“When I was laying there with the individuals trying to wrestle them — like trying to wrestle an alligator — there were some that did walk by,” explained Hoban.
But the two VA employees did not just walk past Hoban, they rushed to help him. Anthony Lovelace and Kevin Collins were in the parking garage that afternoon and helped Hoban restrain one teenager until police arrived. Hoban has talked with the two men on the phone, but Tuesday morning was the first time he saw them since they helped him in the garage.
The two men were honored by the VA for their heroic actions.
“I got no problem helping somebody,” said Lovelace.
“You mess with a veteran you mess with all of us, and we all stick together,” said Collins. Collins is a Navy veteran and has many family members who have served our country. “You always got eachother's back. It’s always in your heart, veterans always stick together."
Hoban is thankful to the men for coming to help him.
“My saviors, my reactionary force, and they answered the call,” said Hoban. “They truly deserve all the recognition they’re getting."
One teenager was arrested and charged; he is going through the legal system. The other was not caught.
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