Authorities are working to identify a man seen on surveillance video attacking a disabled veteran with his car earlier this week in Gardena, allegedly because the veteran had asked him to pick up trash he threw in the street.
Joshua Byrd, who served two tours in Iraq with the U.S. Army, said he was walking his service dog outside the business complex where he works on the 13000 block of Cimarron Avenue around 6:30 a.m. Monday when he noticed the driver discard garbage from his window.
Byrd said he asked the motorist to pick it up but he didn't respond, so he picked it up and put it on the hood of the man's car.
The driver lingered in the area, and a couple minutes later took the trash off his car and threw it back into the street. Then, he began cussing at Byrd and driving in circles in front of him, the veteran said.
"He's getting out the car and he threw a couple bottles of pee at me," Byrd told KTLA. "So it was urine in a container and he was throwing it at me. Luckily none of it got on me."
At that point, Byrd went to stand in the road in an attempt to get a picture of the man's car. That's when he was struck.
"He just makes another U-turn and guns it straight toward me at about 35, 40 mph and hits me," Byrd said.
Byrd suffered a fractured wrist, sprained ankle, whiplash, road rash and bruising, and had to get stitches on his face. His dog was not injured.
The incident is being investigated as an assault with a deadly weapon, according to Gardena Police Lt. Steve Prendergast.
Officials have not released a description of the suspect, but Byrd described him as a heavyset black man measuring around 5 feet 5 inches to 5 feet 8 inches tall.
Anyone with information can contact the Gardena Police Department at 310-217-9600.