Good deed re­warded

Cit­i­zens in­spired by ‘lawn mower man’ say thank you

The Washington Times Daily - - Metro - BY MATTHEW LOUNSBERRY

He’s per­haps the only Amer­i­can who came out of the govern­ment shut­down with his rep­u­ta­tion en­hanced: the one-man “Me­mo­rial Mili­tia” Chris Cox who cap­ti­vated the na­tion last month by mow­ing and clean­ing the Mall.

Mr. Cox trav­eled from his home Mount Pleas­ant, S.C., to empty trash cans, pick up cig­a­rette butts, clear fallen tree limbs and mow the area around me­mo­ri­als on the Mall dur­ing the govern­ment shut­down in ad­vance of what be­came known as the Mil­lion Vet March. And on the steps of the Lin­coln Me­mo­rial on Wednes­day, he was hon­ored for his self­less ac­tions.

“I’ve al­ways had an affin­ity for the re­spect­ing of vet­er­ans, but it seemed like they need our help more dur­ing the shut­down. So some peo­ple like my­self took things into our own hands,” Mr. Cox said. “When I saw trash pour­ing out of cans, I wasn’t happy.”

He used his own equip­ment, paid for his own travel and re­fused to take any dona­tions or to politi­cize his acts dur­ing sev­eral na­tional me­dia ap­pear­ances.

“I was never in this to re­ceive gifts. I wasn’t in this for any­thing but to boost Amer­ica’s self-es­teem,” Mr. Cox said. “These build­ings are our build­ings and it’s our duty to keep them look­ing nice.”

In­spired by hun­dreds of emails, thou­sands of so­cial me­dia posts and fi­nan­cial sup­port of 72 na­tion­wide donors, Crowd It For­ward, a non- profit crowd­fund­ing or­ga­niza- tion, de­cided to reach out to the “lawn mower man.”

“At the end of this I had to twist his arm be­cause Chris did not do this for money and he didn’t want to take any­thing,” said Ken­dall Almerico, founder of Crowd It For­ward.

Mr. Cox, a wood­cut­ting artist, fi­nally agreed to ac­cept a new chain saw, do­nated by Stihl Inc., and a fi­nan­cial do­na­tion to cover some of the costs of park­ing tick­ets he re­ceived.

“It’s very flat­ter­ing. I’ve never re­ally had any­body give me any­thing be­fore. I’m go­ing to use this chain saw to do a lot of work for good, to con­tinue to work on be­half of vet­er­ans,” Mr. Cox said.

Crowd It For­ward is now pre­par­ing to launch a fundraiser for home­less vet­er­ans liv­ing in the Dis­trict. The money will go to­ward hir­ing food trucks to visit home­less shel­ters and pro­vid­ing higher qual­ity food to vet­er­ans.

“The new fund,

hit­ting him with it.

“Think about whether that can be an in­no­cent mis­rec­ol­lec­tion,” de­fense at­tor­ney Barry Coburn told the jury of five men and two women. “She is grossly un­der­es­ti­mat­ing the num­ber of times she hit him.”

He also high­lighted other in­con­sis­ten­cies. A po­lice of­fi­cer’s re­port taken im­me­di­ately af­ter­ward said the woman com­plained that Col. Krusin­ski grabbed her breasts and but­tocks, but at trial she said only that Col. Krusin­ski grabbed her back­side.

Pros­e­cu­tor Cari Steele said it’s not un­usual for wit­nesses to have slightly var­ied rec­ol­lec­tions of what hap­pened, es­pe­cially out­side a bar where peo­ple have been drink­ing. But she said the fo­cus on the woman’s vi­o­lent re­sponse is a dis­trac­tion from the real is­sue — the woman’s tes­ti­mony that Col. Krusin­ski groped her and then asked her if she liked it.

“What else would cause such a re­ac­tion” from the woman? Ms. Steele asked the jury.

In tes­ti­mony Wednes­day, sev­eral de­fense wit­nesses said they saw the woman in­flict­ing a beat­ing on Col. Krusin­ski, though none saw the al­leged grope.

Rene Mi­randa, who was at the Tor­toise and Hare bar that night, said he saw the 23-year-old woman re­peat­edly strik­ing Col. Krusin­ski af­ter a brief ver­bal al­ter­ca­tion. Mr. Mi­randa as­sumed the two were a cou­ple.

“That guy, he prob­a­bly loves her a lot, be­cause I wouldn’t put up with that,” Mr. Mi­randa tes­ti­fied.

Af­ter re­peat­edly strik­ing Col. Krusin­ski in the face with her cell­phone, Mr. Mi­randa said the woman “changed her strat­egy” and started throw­ing up­per­cuts.

He said Col. Krusin­ski did not de­fend him­self.

Ray Martin, a bar­tender at nearby Fred­die’s Beach Bar, said Col. Krusin­ski’s face was “just awash in blood” and that he im­me­di­ately told a co-worker to call 911. He said that both Col. Krusin­ski and the al­leged vic­tim ap­peared to be in­tox­i­cated.

The Air Force re­moved Col. Krusin­ski from his post with the sex-as­sault unit af­ter his ar­rest be­came pub­lic.

Col. Krusin­ski faced up to a year in prison if con­victed.

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