81-Year-Old Pizza Delivery Veteran Attacked: Community Rallies

81-Year-Old Pizza Delivery Veteran Attacked: Community Rallies

An 81-year-old veteran, Ernie Aimone, faced a terrifying ordeal last week while delivering pizzas in Chicago. Aimone, a Vietnam War veteran and long-time pizza delivery man, was brutally attacked during a violent carjacking in the city’s Jefferson Park neighborhood. After dropping off a pizza, he was ambushed by an assailant who demanded his car keys and then struck him from behind, leaving him fearing for his life. The vicious attack left Aimone on the ground as the perpetrators fled in his car.

Reacting swiftly, Chicago police initiated a search for the stolen vehicle, a 2015 Hyundai Sante Fe, and alerted state police. Hours later, the stolen car was sighted on an expressway. A pursuit ensued, resulting in a dramatic crash that caused significant damage. Despite the chaos, law enforcement managed to apprehend one teenage suspect but are actively seeking others involved in the crime.

Although shaken by the traumatic incident, Aimone expressed resilience, voicing his intention to return to work as a pizza delivery driver once he has a functioning vehicle. Reflecting on his loved ones, he emphasized his determination to live for his daughter and son, highlighting the profound impact the attack could have had on his family.

Grateful that her father survived the assault, Aimone’s daughter, Robyn, acknowledged the potential severity of the situation, underscoring the relief that it did not end tragically. Known for his dedicated service as a pizza delivery man at Joe’s on Higgins for over 40 years, Aimone holds a special place in the hearts of coworkers and customers, who consider him part of their extended family.

The community, deeply moved by Aimone’s plight, has rallied behind him with unwavering support. A GoFundMe campaign, set up by the Gladstone Park Chamber of Commerce to assist Aimone in repairing or replacing his damaged vehicle, has garnered an outpouring of generosity. Described as a ‘local legend’ by chamber president Dan Ciolino, Aimone’s selfless contributions to the neighborhood and his steadfast loyalty to his job have inspired over 900 donors to contribute more than $38,400 in just a few days.

This heartwarming response showcases the community’s appreciation for Aimone’s service to both his country and the local area. As the fundraising efforts continue to gain momentum, the collective support serves as a powerful reminder of the resilience and compassion that thrive within the community, standing strong in the face of adversity.

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