School Delays

70-year-old man says he was attacked after telling driver to slow down

Nickolas Joseph Hernandez

Phoenix, Arizona (KTVK) — A 70-year-old man was beaten outside of his home and he said it was because he told a neighbor to slow down.

“I never expected this is going to happen,” said Manny Lara, who is suffering from a broken nose and also broke a bone underneath his eye.

“I’m always with the kids when they come out of school, ” Lara said.

Last Wednesday afternoon, he told a driver to slow down, keeping those very kids in mind. Lara said that man came back on foot cursing at him and then started punching him.

“He beat me over here, punched me over here and my glasses, and everything comes down,” Lara said.

“I saw the guy kicking him and, like, constantly and giving it all he got,” said neighbor Donna Smith.

She ran outside after her grandkids yelled that someone was kicking Lara on the ground.

“I told him to leave him alone, get away from us, I’m calling the police, and he was beating him continually,” Smith said.

Police said that man is 23-year-old Nickolas Hernandez, staying nearby with his grandmother and now under arrest. According to court paperwork, he’s on probation for armed robbery and was on work furlough from jail. He told investigators he assaulted Lara because he had yelled at him and that he blacked out, and began punching Lara after Lara hit him first. Hernandez said he didn’t know how many times he hit Lara.

Lara is getting better and said the hardest part about all of this was seeing his son cry.

“The impact when I saw my kid and he opened his eyes and he starts to cry, and I said, ‘That’s bad,'” Lara said.

“Manuel looks out for everybody around here,” Smith said. “If our kids are in trouble or we need help he always there for us.”