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WWII vet, 86, beaten outside Ohio hospital

CINCINNATI — An 86-year-old World War II veteran was recovering Tuesday after being beaten outside a southwest Ohio hospital where he was visiting his ailing wife, authorities said.

Police arrested 30-year-old Craig Phelps on charges of robbery and other counts, including that he had a needle for heroin use. Phelps was being held Tuesday in Hamilton County Jail on $25,000 bond.

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Police said Phelps tried to steal Paul Browning’s wallet outside Good Samaritan Hospital on Sunday. Browning was there visiting his wife of 65 years. Family members say the two met in Italy during World War II.

Phelps is accused of ‘‘slamming the victim against a wall, causing severe physical harm to his face,’’ a police affidavit stated.

Family members said Browning was left bruised and swollen and required stitches in his mouth, and was expected to be hospitalized a few days.

Browning’s son, Marvin, said his father was jumped just after leaving the hospital to go to his car.

Paul Browning told his son that he felt he needed to leave in case the attacker came back. He drove home, and his family brought him back to the hospital for treatment.

Family members say he is tough and will recover.

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