Man and Woman Attack Blind Salvation Army Bell Ringer: Police

A man and woman have been charged with assault in the beating of a blind Salvation Army bell ringer at a burger joint in Westchester County.

The melee began Saturday afternoon when Juan Rodriguez, 30, and his friend Audrianna Wignal, 21, accused blind bell ringer Jermaine Simmons, 41, of cutting in line at the Smashburger on Tarrytown Road in White Plains, authorities said.

After a brief argument, the couple allegedly pummeled the handicapped Simmons so violently his nose and cheek were broken.

“He swung his right hand at me real hard -- so hard that I dropped the bucket,” Simmons said. "I was seeing blood that was coming out of my nose my head and even my eye.”

Simmons dropped to the ground, where he was kicked and hit with his donation bucket, he said.

“"He did hit me in the head with the bucket. I told him I was pressing charges -- he just laughed and said no big thing," Simmons said.

Rodriguez and Wignal were arrested at the scene and charged with misdemeanor assault. Rodriguez is on parole for another assault and Wignal is on probation for criminal mischief, police said.

The two were arraigned in the Greenburgh Town Court on Sunday. Rodriguez’s bail was set at $1,000 and Wignal’s at $500.

Both posted bail, but Rodriguez was rearrested Monday by the New York State Division of Parole and hit with an upgraded felony assault charge. He’s due back in court on Jan. 5.

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