78-year-old Army vet attacked in front yard

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A $1,000 reward is being offered Thursday after a medal-earning Vietnam veteran was attacked outside his home in Hickory, North Carolina.

The 78-year old said he had to undergo surgery after he confronted a man riding an all-terrain vehicle through his yard.

James Stonemetz showed WSOC where he was punched in the face by that man.

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"I hollered at him for driving across my lawn and I said, 'What are you doing driving across my lawn?' and he just stared at me and then he came back up and I said, 'You don't want to come back again.' And that's when he popped me," Stonemetz said.

Stonemetz said the rider never got off the ATV and sped off after the attack; the bruising on his neck could still be seen Thursday.

The 78-year-old's jaw is also wired shut for two months because the blow broke his jaw.

Stonemetz said he must now get all of his nutrition through a straw because he can't chew.

Authorities said earlier Thursday there was also a child on the ATV at the time of the attack.

Police said the suspect is a heavy-set white male with short hair and a beard who was riding a camouflage ATV.

Stonemetz had this message for the person responsible.

"If he is back on my lawn, I won't speak with him. There's other methods. If I feel threatened, I won't hesitate."

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The 78-year-old's jaw is also wired shut for two months because the blow broke his jaw.

Posted by WSOC-TV on Thursday, June 30, 2016