LMPD searches for man who assaulted Iraq veteran - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

LMPD searches for man who assaulted Iraq veteran

Andrew Howell Andrew Howell
Det. Arnold Rivera Det. Arnold Rivera
Granville Inn Granville Inn

By Janelle MacDonald - bio | email
Posted by Charles Gazaway - email

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) – Louisville Metro Police are searching for the man who assaulted an Iraq war veteran and left him for dead. Police think someone, maybe even a lot of people, saw who did it. Now the victim is pleading for that person, or people, to come forward.

"They said I died three times," said Andrew Howell.

Howell survived 4 ½ years in the Army, 15 months of that in Iraq, only to have his life put in jeopardy back at home.

"Coming back from Iraq, I thought everybody in the United States would be somewhat normal," said Howell. "I let my guard down."

Although Howell does not remember what happened early on November 20, 2009, exactly one month after he left the Army, LMPD Detective Arnold Rivera has a pretty good idea.

"It was one punch," said Rivera.

According to Rivera, the fights inside the Granville Inn continued outside. Rivera said Howell was just an innocent bystander when he was punched and fell, hitting his head on the pavement.

"A vast number of people that were inside and outside the bar and this is why we're coming to you today," said Rivera. "We've had difficulty in contacting folks that may have been there that were witnesses."

Thursday nights at the Granville Inn are pretty busy; it's a popular time for college students. Rivera estimates anywhere from 100 to 150 people, maybe more, were inside the bar.

"I would say please come forward on this," said Howell to those who witnessed the attack. "I don't want to see anybody else get hurt like I did and definitely don't want anybody to die."

Howell continues his quest for justice and his mission to recover his life.

"It's not going to happen quickly," Howell said. "It's going to take probably a good 10 years for me to come back normal."

Howell wanted to go to college and become a pilot, a dream that has died.

"This pretty much shoots down the whole idea of being a pilot ever," he said.

Now Howell is just celebrating how far he's come after multiple surgeries and months of physical therapy.

"I could not say yes or no when I first started out," Howell said. "I could not talk. I could think it but whenever I would go to say it, it sounded all messed up."

Howell still has several months of rehab and yet another surgery ahead of him. That will be to cover the hole doctors had to cut in his skull.

The man police are looking for is white, between 21 and 23 years old, 6'3" to 6'5" and between 290 and 315 pounds. He was seen walking away, south on 3rd Street, with two men of similar size.

If you can help police, give them a call at 574-LMPD (5673).

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