Not being there is definitely the issue. My personal opinion is words are words, and if someone does resort to violence there is a way to subdue them without striking them. He was 75 years old... over twice the age of the other individual... I do not know either one's physique (they gave a brief description not a muscle/fat ratio) but if the younger individual wasn't stronger and healthier I would be shocked! A combination of subduing the individual, and "holding back" would likely have been a better alternative if the vet did in fact start the fight. But I wasn't there so no clue.
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Unless there are any independant witnesses, this case is going no where. I like how the reporter assumes the responding officer, not cop, is a rookie. Plus, the old man says this guy just came up and hit him. There has to more and the other guy provided that other side.
I have a feeling this reporter will do no additional reporting on this story, because there is no story. The only reason he printed the second one was because the other gentleman called him. Otherwise, he was just looking for sympathy for the old guy.