DELRAY BEACH, Fla. (WPTV) – Late Tuesday evening, Tony Grein, 18, was in the hospital and he was praying.
“I prayed for the family of the attacker that they would have peace,” said Grein. “I prayed for my family. I prayed for me.”
The Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office said Grein was attacked by someone much bigger than him – much stronger – and possibly on drugs. That man, authorities said, was Anneson Joseph.
According to the sheriff’s office, deputies were unable to reason with Joseph and they say he got in a fighting stance and charged one of the deputies.
The sheriff said his deputies had no choice but to shoot him when he came at them and a Taser didn’t stop him.
“Somehow I survived it. It had to be an act of God,” said Grein. “There’s no way it was me.”
While Grein says he was being bitten and beaten by the suspect, his neighbors – too scared to go outside – barricaded themselves behind locked doors.
“It’s just scary how people can turn like that into these animals,” said Rachel Medeiros. “It’s like they lose their humanity. Who would do that?”
Investigators say the suspect was “terrorizing” 66-year-old Douglas Kozlik just minutes before. The former New York City police officer says he was on his nightly walk when the suspect went after him.
Kozlik was badly bruised on his face and had scratches all over his head. He said he drew on his 30 years with NYPD to help fight off his attacker.
“I have a lot to be thankful for; that today I’m here breathing, that God gave me mercy, that he gave me a chance to repent,” said Grein, who wants to meet Kozlik in the near future.