Blind Salvation Army bell-ringer attacked

Posted at 10:00 AM, Dec 24, 2015
and last updated 2015-12-24 10:00:42-05

NEW YORK (AP) -- Police say a Salvation Army bell-ringer was beaten up when a lunch break turned into a dispute with other customers at a suburban New York burger joint.

Jermaine Simmons tells the Journal News the clash Saturday in Greenburgh started with an argument over whether he was jumping the line, and then one of his adversaries abruptly hit him. The 41-year-old Simmons says he's legally blind.

Police Chief Christopher McNerney said the confrontation became "a vicious assault." Police say Simmons was knocked to the ground, held down, punched and kicked, and his attackers tossed his donation kettle at his head.

He suffered a broken nose and a smashed orbital bone before a restaurant manager intervened.

Two people, Juan Rodriguez, 30, and 21-year old Audrianna Wignal, have been charged with assault.

Meanwhile, Simmons was back in bell-ringing action Tuesday.