Bridgeport man charged with beating 74-year-old, allegedly for not wearing a mask

Man charge with beating elderly man for not wearing a mask in a local supermarket.

Man charge with beating elderly man for not wearing a mask in a local supermarket.

Ned Gerard / Hearst Connecticut Media

BRIDGEPORT — A local man was charged Monday after police said he assaulted an older man, allegedly for not wearing a mask in a supermarket.

Verrol Clarke, 49, of Sanford Avenue, was charged with first-degree assault on an elderly person, first-degree reckless endangerment and refusing to be fingerprinted.

“This was an alleged assault on a 74-year-old man who suffered bleeding on the brain,” said Superior Court Judge Tracy Lee Dayton during Clarke’s arraignment Monday afternoon.

She ordered Clarke held in lieu of $100,000 bond and continued the case to Jan. 19.

Police said officers were called to the Stop & Shop supermarket on Main Street for a dispute. When they got there, they said a 74-year-old man had already been taken to St. Vincent’s Medical Center.

Police said witnesses told them that the man had brought several bags of bottles and cans into the supermarket to redeem and was confronted by a man later identified as Clarke, who allegedly demanded to know why the other man was not wearing a mask.

The man responded that he had forgotten it and called his daughter to bring him one but was then allegedly assaulted by Clarke, police said.

Police said the store’s video surveillance showed Clarke punching the other man in the face and knocking him to the floor. Clarke then repeatedly kicked the man in the head as he lay on the floor, police said.