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Heroic 97-year-old gay war vet and LGBT+ activist robbed and assaulted while trying to help his attacker on the street

Lily Wakefield May 20, 2020
veteran

Rupert "Twink" Starr, 97, was trying to help his attacker. (Karla Rothan/ Facebook)

A 97-year-old Second World War veteran and LGBT+ activist was robbed and assaulted in the street after trying to give money to his attacker.

Police in Columbus, Ohio, are searching for the man who attacked military vet Rupert Starr, 97, known to his friends as “Twink”, on Monday (May 18).

Sergeant James Fuqua told ABC 6 that the incident began with an act of kindness, when Starr was out for a walk.

A man approached Starr, who has mobility issues and walks with two canes, and asked him for money.

Fuqua said: “So he decided to give this man a dollar to help this person during this crisis. He felt it would be appropriate to help him.”

But the man turned on Starr and tried to rob him. Starr attempted to fight back but the attacker shoved him to the ground and made off with his wallet.

Rupert ‘Twink’ Starr spent four months as a prisoner of war and fought Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.

According to Stonewall Columbus, Starr enlisted in the US army in January 1945 and spent almost four months as a prisoner of war in German prison camps.

In 1954, he met interior designer Allan Wingfield and the couple spent 53 years together before Wingfield passed away in 2007 at the age of 80.

Starr helped push for the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell“, and was the Grand Marshall of the Stonewall Columbus Pride Parade in 2009.

Rupert “Twink” Starr was not seriously hurt in the attack. (Stonewall Columus/ YouTube)

Fuqua continued: “The man walks with two canes. He’s doing the best he can physically just to even be out and mobile, so the fact that someone has that type of behaviour and has that type of cruelty in their heart to still go out and assault someone after they give them something is truly reprehensible.

“People are willing to go to any length they can to hurt someone for a dollar.”

Fortunately the veteran was not seriously hurt, and police continue to search for his attacker.

More: activist, attacked, Columbus, LGBT, Ohio, robbed, Rupert Starr, twink, Veteran

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