91-Year-Old Beating Victim Calls Bystanders 'Low-Class'

Video shows five people watched and did nothing as elderly man was beaten.

May 15, 2007 — -- The video of 91-year-old Leonard Sims being beaten by a carjacker is hard to watch. But perhaps even harder to believe is that no one stopped to help him.

Surveillance cameras rolled as the World War II veteran was approached by a stranger in the parking lot of a convenience store outside of Detroit.

The man asked him for a light for his cigarette, and then suddenly began punching him. Sims could not move. He was pinned between his car door and another car. The attacker punched him 21 times and then stole his car.

"The way he beat my heart and face, I could have died," Sims said.

Remarkably, Sims survived the brutal beating, but the story gets more disturbing.

In the video you can see five bystanders watching the 91-year-old man being beaten and doing absolutely nothing to help him.

"It tells a story of a community that's either too fearful or deadened to have the outrage to get in the way of somebody being attacked," said forensic psychiatrist Dr. Michael Welner.

In February, a similar scene unfolded in a Chicago bar when an off-duty police officer viciously attacked a female bartender while others just looked on, offering no help.

The woman survived, but she sustained injuries to her head, arms and ribs.

"In all of these situations there are things people can do. If nothing more than yell at the top of their lungs, 'Stop!'" Welner said.

Sims and his wife agree and have a message for those who stood by, doing nothing in his darkest hour.

"I would tell them that they are low in class, low in spirit, low in life," Sims said.

His wife Nora added: "Speak up! Stand up! Get up and do something. Get involved, because it's not right. It's not right at all."

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