PD: Man in wheelchair beaten outside Mesa convenience store

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Posted at 2:02 PM, Feb 04, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-04 16:42:24-05

MESA, AZ — A man in a wheelchair was allegedly beaten outside a Mesa convenience store.

Mesa police report that on January 29 about 10 a.m. they responded to a convenience store parking lot near Country Club Drive and Southern Avenue.

There they reportedly found a man who used a wheelchair who was punched in the face several times. Police say Keith Rawson, 46, approached the victim and "smashed a soda fountain drink on the victim's head," then punched him in the face about ten times. He also pulled the victim's shirt over his head during the assault, according to police.

The attack was witnessed by a store clerk and captured on store surveillance video. Court records show that the victim is paralyzed over half of his body. Police say the victim was traumatized and asked several times why he was attacked.

Upon his arrest, Rawson initially denied any involvement but later said the victim pushed him first. Police say his account does not match what the witness saw, or the video captured.

Rawson, who is currently on probation for an assault last year, has been charged with aggravated assault.