VA releases video showing attack on veteran at Atlanta clinic

Employee arrested on assault charge after 73-year-old hospitalized

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has released a video that appears to show an employee violently attacking a 73-year-old veteran at an Atlanta clinic.

The employee, Lawrence F. Gaillard Jr., was later arrested on a charge of assault in the April 28 attack on Phillip Webb, who was visiting the Fort McPherson VA Clinic. After Webb was beaten, he was hospitalized for three days with a brain bleed, Channel 2 Action News reported.

Gaillard Jr., a resident of Rock Hill, South Carolina, was working in the veteran advocacy department when authorities say he punched, body-slammed and stomped on Webb, as seen in the video obtained by Channel 2 and described in court documents.

After the attack, Webb was evaluated by a doctor at the Fort McPherson clinic before being taken in an ambulance to WellStar Atlanta Medical Center, court documents show.

Gaillard was initially arrested on one count of felony assault, according to a federal citation, and was booked into the Atlanta City Detention Center. He was later released on $10,000 bond, records show.

Because of “jurisdictional issues,” Channel 2 reported, the U.S. Attorney dropped the charges against Gaillard and turned the case over to Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis. Federal court records indicate Gaillard was fired May 23, nearly a month after his arrest.

The video released by the VA shows Webb and Gaillard, whose face is blurred, as they appear to exchange words after Webb knocks on an office door. A federal citation describes Gaillard as taking an “aggressive posture” by putting his hands on his hips and standing directly in front of Webb. The document labels Gaillard as “the aggressor.”

The video shows Gaillard pointing his finger in Webb’s face as the two appear to argue. Webb can be seen batting away Gaillard’s hand, leading Gaillard to push Webb hard into a door across the small room.

Gaillard appears to place his hands around Webb’s throat for a moment before slinging him to the ground. When Webb falls to his back and rolls on his side, Gaillard appears to stomp the side of the 73-year-old’s head. Gaillard can be seen sharply kicking Webb’s head a second time before leaving the room through a different door below an exit sign.

In an interview with Channel 2, Webb said he still did not remember why he was assaulted. The veteran told the news station he knocked on the door to tell the VA employees he was going to use the restroom. Webb said he was at the clinic waiting to discuss a hernia surgery, the news station reported.

VA representatives said they were “horrified” by the alleged assault.

“This disturbing behavior is contrary to our core values of treating Veterans with the dignity and respect they deserve,” a VA spokesperson said in a statement obtained by Channel 2. “We take this matter seriously and will cooperate fully with Fulton County law enforcement.”