Arrests made in beating of 94-year-old WWII vet

Paul Smallwood was approached at his Marietta apartment last Friday by the boys and was brutally beaten with a large rock for what appears to have been a robbery, family told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

“We’re excited that they got them,” Smallwood’s niece Sandra Womack said.

Smallwood remains in critical condition, clinging to life at WellStar Kennestone Hospital’s intensive care unit, with severe head injuries and a shoulder injury, family said.

“He’s improved a little bit,” said Smallwood’s nephew Ricky Scoggins, who worries the World War II veteran won't be able to maintain the independence he cherished.

The boys, ages 11 and 15, have been charged with armed robbery, aggravated battery, aggravated assault, burglary and violation of the Georgia Gang Act, Cobb County police said.

A process in Cobb juvenile court could be swift, authorities said.

Cobb district attorney Pat Head said their cases would have to be tried within 30 days.

“We’re relieved that they’ve got them,” Scoggins said. “We just hope they’ll be able to keep them.”

Smallwood was returning from a doctor’s appointment Friday when he encountered the younger of the boys who offered to introduce the man to someone who could fix his car.

When Smallwood declined, the boy followed him into the apartment. When Smallwood told the 11-year-old to get out, the teen emerged and threw a 10-inch rock at the man.

Smallwood fell onto his back and the teen continued to beat him with the rock, according to reports.

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