Court records show VA employee arrested, charged in brutal beating of Vietnam veteran

ATLANTA — Federal court records reveal that Department of Veterans Affairs employee Lawrence F. Gaillard Jr. was arrested and charged with the brutal beating of an elderly Vietnam veteran.

Channel 2 consumer investigator Justin Gray first reported exclusively on the attack nearly a month ago.

Phillip Webb, 73, said he was attacked by a VA employee at the VA Clinic at Fort McPherson in Atlanta on April 28.

But for weeks, VA police who made the arrest, and leadership at the Atlanta VA refused to provide basic information about the attack.

Court papers reveal that Gaillard’s case is now in the hands of federal prosecutors in the U.S. Attorney’s office after VA Police turned him over to U.S. Marshals.

According to the violation citation, surveillance video showed that Gaillard was the aggressor.

“He said, ‘Man, I’ll go upside your head,’ and I told him, ‘No you won’t,’ and that’s all I remember,” Webb said.

At the time, Webb told Channel 2 Action News he couldn’t even remember most of the attack.

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“I was trying to figure out why did he hit me. I’m still trying to figure out why did he hit me, you know?” Webb said.

The police narrative in the court papers fills in the gaps. Officers observed on video Gaillard “punching Mr. Webb in the face with both fists, moving him backwards until he was pinned up against the wall. Mr. Gaillard was seen placing his hands around Mr. Webb’s neck then proceeded to body slam him to the floor. Mr. Gaillard then kicked Mr. Webb in the head several times while he was on the floor.”

When Gray called Gaillard to ask about the attack, he hung up on him.

Gaillard was released on a $10,000 bond. Part of his condition of release is that he is “only allowed on VA property for work related purposes.”

Gray asked VA leadership if Gaillard is still employed by the VA and still allowed to interact with veterans.

In a statement, VA said: “The incident involving Veteran Phillip Webb and an Atlanta VA Health Care system employee is still under investigation. Per our policy, the employee in question is no longer interacting with patients pending the outcome of the investigation.”

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