Good deed rewarded
Citizens inspired by ‘lawn mower man’ say thank you
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.