A man in Kenosha, Wisconsin became the latest victim of the widespread violence and chaos that has gripped the small midwestern city for almost a week, following the police-involved shooting of Jacob Blake.
Businesses burned and gunfire erupted in the streets as nighttime in Kenosha transformed into lawlessness and terror. Our own Julio Rosas has been on the ground in Wisconsin closely covering the latest in a summer full of violence and destruction.
On Monday, Kenosha resident Robert Cobb, 71, saw a video of fires breaking out near the Danish Brotherhood Lodge and The Mattress Shop, spurring him to go defend the businesses from damage and looting. On the scene, Cobb reportedly sprayed a fire extinguisher at looters to keep them away.
"He sprayed them in the face so they had to take their masks off for identification,” Mattress Shop owner Pamela “Sue” Moniz said. “Someone pulled a gun and another person yelled, ‘Don’t shoot this man, don’t shoot this man.'"
But then Cobb was struck in the head with a plastic bottle that had been filled with concrete, causing him to crash to the ground and break his jaw. His nose and face were cut and bleeding. A video was taken of the incident and one person can be heard warning that the injured man was "drowning in his blood" and needed to turn his head to the side.
Other witnesses can be heard in the video shouting at the assailants that Cobb didn't deserve the brutal attack.
"He didn't deserve any of that, any of it," one woman said. "This is just wrong guys. Do you not see this?"
But the rioters have proven time and again that they don't operate in a world of right and wrong. They operate only in a world of destruction and chaos. Following the very public and tragic suicide of a man in Minneapolis on Wednesday, rioters once again descended onto the city to wreak havoc and loot whatever was left from earlier this summer. They didn't wait to hear what had happened to the man, or why it happened. They pounced at any excuse to burn buildings and steal without punishment.
Cobb's attackers can be heard saying as much in the video of his attack, saying the violence against the elderly man was "self-defense."
"Were just trying to protect ourselves," one woman said. "You don't understand what terrifies these Black men out here ... Understand, respect. How bout that?"
The president vowed to send additional National Guard troops to Kenosha after Gov. Tony Evers agreed that the city needed assistance. More troops were also deployed to Minneapolis after significant unrest on Wednesday night with more expected in nights to come.
Warning: Graphic Video
Looters assault an older business owner trying to defend his business in Kenosha, Wisconsin on August 24, 2020. pic.twitter.com/LdlLnOpvfJ— After Action Report (@after_theaction) August 25, 2020
Following the attack, a GoFundMe page was set up for Cobb updating his medical status and asking for help in financing his recovery. The post also praised the Mattress Shop owners for their past philanthropy.
Monday August 24, 2020 protesters and looters set fire to Sue and Keith’s magical mattress shop in Kenosha, WI. The building and all contents are completely destroyed. Our dear friend Robert was onsite and tried to stop the fire. Robert was viciously attacked and beaten. Emergency medical attention was needed and further surgery will be required. I have seen these three folks help neighborhood people for years with money, food, mattresses when no one could afford to pay. They have served the Kenosha community selflessly and so didn’t deserve this horrible attack.
I have known this wonderful folks for years. They are honest, hard working and honorable people