Things That Matter

Homeless Veteran Violently Attacks Elderly Women At Phoenix IHOP

Police released horrifying surveillance footage of two elderly women at an IHOP in Phoenix being brutally attacked by a man with a coffee pot. The suspect, Joe Ernest Meza, 47, is a veteran with mental illness and a criminal record, left to live on the streets. Meza was charged with two counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, two counts of assault with the intent to cause injury, and a count of theft and of disorderly conduct each. 

The footage is a harrowing has spawned conversations about the need to better assist veterans with mental illnesses when they return from combat.

The surveillance footage shows two women eating at an IHOP, when a man in a red shirt and sunglasses starts beating one woman’s skull with a coffee pot.

Credit: @Robertbox1H / Twitter

On Sept. 29, a family with an infant and young child, and two women went to the IHOP on 51st Avenue and McDowell in Phoenix, Arizona, expecting a regular day. Prior to Meza entering the scene, it appears as if everyone is having a normal conversation on a Tuesday. Suddenly, Meza grabs the coffee pot from the table pictured above and starts violently beating two elderly women with the pot.

As the woman tries to defend herself, her friend flees for cover.

Credit: @Robertbox1H / Twitter

The woman tries to cover her head, but he continues to beat her four times over the head. He stops only after she starts kicking him to create distance. CCTV footage shows her friend fleeing to the kitchen where she stands behind a cook until the ordeal is over.

Gripping her head, the victim tries to flee, but Meza continues to target her.

Credit: @Robertbox1H / Twitter

Meza appears to back away after she attempts to defend herself, but as she gets up to flee, he starts approaching her again. The restaurant is not empty and onlookers watched in shock as the attack occurred.

As the woman tries to flee, Meza picks up another coffee pot as a weapon.

Credit: @Robertbox1H / Twitter

Gripping her head, she starts to walk around the back of the booth and down another aisle. Meza remains focused on her, and picks up another coffee pot, intimidating her as she runs out the store. Meza remains just a few steps behind. CCTV footage shows other families fleeing out the back exit as he moves to the other side of the store.

Later, we see the victim with an apparent head wound, blood streaming down her face.

Credit: @Robertbox1H / Twitter

It seems as if she’s returned to gather her personal items, and Meza is nowhere in sight. While she’s bending down, reaching for her wallet under the booth, she seems to see Meza reappear and mouths, “Oh, sh**.” Meza appears in the bottom right-hand corner and flings a podium at her. The heavy metal stand narrowly misses her, and when she gets back up, she begins fighting back.

The two begin throwing dishes and other items at each other across two rows of booths.

Credit: @Robertbox1H / Twitter

She immediately tosses a plate at Meza, as he scurries to take cover behind the barrier between the rows of booths. The woman slips a little as she takes cover while continuing to fling plates in his direction.

The victim pauses at one point to wipe the blood from her head.

Credit: @Robertbox1H / Twitter

She appears to be pausing to take a breath and picks up a napkin to wipe the blood from her head. Meza picks up another coffee pot and swings it at her. It ricochets off the wall behind her and the shock of it sends the elderly woman into a fall. She stands back up and throws one final object before fleeing out the back door, purse in hand.

Meza immediately goes to her booth and finds the personal item she was looking for and pockets it.

Credit: @Robertbox1H / Twitter

Meza sweeps the store, sifting through purses and stealing personal items from the terrified customers who fled before being physically attacked, including a family with an infant in a carriage. The mother picked up the baby and fled without her stroller. 

Then, he sets a fire in the kitchen.

Credit: @Robertbox1H / Twitter

Meza erratically paces the kitchen corridor, burning himself in the process. He turns the flame up on one of the burners and tosses a piece of fabric onto the flame, starting a fire. Police found him fleeing from the IHOP and arrested him in the parking lot. He remains at the Maricopa County Jail.

Watch the full video below.

READ: Here’s The Man Who Was Arrested For Attacking Another Person For Wearing A Russian MAGA Hat

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Video Shows AP Photographer Attacked By Capitol Hill Rioters Accusing Him Of Being Antifa

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Video Shows AP Photographer Attacked By Capitol Hill Rioters Accusing Him Of Being Antifa

Ricky Carioti / The Washington Post via Getty Images

Americans watched in horror as Trump supporters stormed the Capitol building on Jan. 6. As the dust settles, we are seeing more of the chaos including the attack on journalists who were there doing their jobs when the mob turned violent.

Associated Press photographer John Minchillo was attacked by Trump supporters on Jan. 6.

Video taken by his colleague Julio Cortez shows Minchillo being violently pushed and pulled around by the angry mob. The video is a jarring reminder of the physical manifestation of the attack on the free press. President Trump has routinely singled out the media at his rallies and has celebrated violence against the press.

You can hear Cortez pleading with the crowd to stop attacking Minchillo.

You can hear people in the crowd shouting, “Get the f-ck out of here.” The people in the crowd grab at Minchillo and he is quickly surrounded by 5 to 6 people who are shoving and pulling him to get him out of the crowd using violence.

“Thankfully, he wasn’t injured,” Cortez worte in his Instagram post. “He was labeled as an anti protesters (sic), even though he kept flashing his press credentials, and one person can be heard threatening to kill him. This is an unedited, real life situation of a member of the press keeping his cool even though he was being attacked. A true professional and a great teammate, I’m glad we were able to get away.”

Journalists are highlighting the video to show what it can be like to cover Trump events as press.

President Trump has a long history of attacking and belittling journalist while president. He has also launched attacks on the credibility of the press by calling major media outlets fake news. His supporters echo many of these claims when they are confronted by media or turn on the media at his events.

The National Association of Hispanic Journalists is calling for a full investigation into the attack.

Fellow journalists are calling for authorities to investigate what happened in that moment. The Capitol police were there when Minchillo was attacked yet nothing was done to protect the AP photographer as the crowd grew violent.

People are sharing screengrabs to start identifying the instigators.

The internet has made it hard to hide when you do something wrong. Not to mention that wearing a mask to follow Covid health guidelines would have covered their faces. There are rumors that the same people who mounted their failed coup on Jan. 6 are planning another attack on the Capitol on Jan. 19.

READ: Far-Right Trump Supporters Violently Storm The US Capitol Forcing Lockdown

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Story Of NYC Lawyer Who Went To Prison For Blinding His Girlfriend Then Married Her After His Sentence Resurfaces Again

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Story Of NYC Lawyer Who Went To Prison For Blinding His Girlfriend Then Married Her After His Sentence Resurfaces Again

Crazy Love / Dan Klores

Burt Pugach gained national attention in the 1950s after he was sent to prison for blinding his girlfriend with lye after she broke up with him. Fourteen years later, the New York City lawyer wrangled in headlines once again when it was revealed that after all of this, he persuaded his victim, Linda Riss, to marry him.

Now, almost 46 years after their marriage, Pugach’s story is headlining websites again. This time, as a result of his death, which occurred on Christmas Eve, and triggered another bizarre tale.

The 93-year-old lawyer made naional headlines for the first time in 1959 when he was 31 years old and cheating on his wife.

In 1959 Pugach was a New York-based lawyer who began a courtship with Linda Riss who was 21-years-old and from the East Bronx. When Riss learned that Pugach was married and had a daughter, she broke off their relationship. Enraged, Pugach threatened to kill or hurt Riss saying “If I can’t have you, no one else will have you, and when I get through with you no one else will want you.”

Riss reported the threat to the New York Police Department but did not receive help. When she became engaged to another man she was violated by Pugach who hired three assailants to attack her. The attackers threw lye in Riss’s face, leaving her blind in one eye, almost blind in the other, and forever scarred.

Bizarrely, in 1974, after spending 14 years in prison for the crime, Pugach and Riss resumed their relationship and married. In 1976 they even co-wrote a book, A Very Different Love Story. This story gets weirder (and it doesn’t end here): in 1997, Linda supported Pugarch and appeared at a trial as a character witness for him when he was accused of threatening another woman with whom he had an affair.

Linda died of heart failure on January 22, 2013, and in 2007 their story was produced into a documentary called Crazy Love which was directed by Dan Klores.

Now, years later, Pugach is in the news after he died and it was revealed that he left his $15 million estate to a female caregiver.

According to Daily Mail, “the funds have been frozen by a judge after friends and former colleagues accused Shamin ‘Sheila’ Frawley of coercing Pugach into changing his will after he suffered a stroke.”

Court documents obtained by Daily Mail alleged that Frawley, 52, withheld food and medicine from him until he died. “Pugach revised his will at least five times after Linda succumbed to heart failure in 2013, gifting differing amounts to friends, but always leaving the bulk of the money to a foundation for the visually impaired set up in his late wife’s honor.”

Peter S. Thomas, the foundation’s attorney noted that ‘Burt lived his entire life for Linda. I cannot imagine that under any circumstances, as incapacitated as he was, that he would even think to cut out the foundation.”

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