Iraq war vet beaten by teens at the Oceanfront

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — An Iraq war veteran said he was attacked by teenagers during his summer vacation at the Virginia Beach Oceanfront.

Sean Dutrow has a fracture behind his eye and 17 stitches in his forehead. The 28-year-old is at home in Leesburg now, with his wife and five-month-old daughter, but for the Fourth of July holiday the family was in Virginia Beach. Dutrow said the vacation turned ugly when he and a friend left a bar around 2:30 a.m. Sunday.

“[My friend] got ahead of me, and it was just about the time the bar was closing down,” he said. “And when he turned around, I wasn’t anywhere to be seen. So he came back and turned the corner and saw me on the ground, blood all around me.”

Virginia Beach police told WAVY.com the attack happened along Pacific Avenue. They say it started as an argument and escalated.

“I guess they went straight for the head ’cause the rest of me is fine. There’s nothing else that hurts on my body,” Dutrow said.

He doesn’t remember anything except waking up in the hospital.

“I saw him in the hospital and thought I was going to be a widow,” said Kasey, Dutrow’s wife. “He was laying there with feeding tubes and a brace around his neck, pretty scary.”

Dutrow did two tours in Iraq with the Army National Guard.

“When he was over there, that was my biggest fear: getting that phone call,” Kasey said. “You don’t expect to get it while you’re on vacation.”

Dutrow is still trying to make sense of the incident: “When you get in a fight with somebody, whether it’s one or 20, something serious can happen ’cause who knows if this was done by feet or me hitting the ground, so think twice before you get in a fight with anyone.”

Police say alcohol appears to have played a role in the attack. Two juveniles have been arrested, but they were not drinking. They were both charged with malicious assault and curfew violations.

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