Neighbours of the 95-year-old war veteran left shaking and almost in tears after a group of kids allegedly jumped on the back of his mobility scooter and tried to push him off, say he may never get over his ordeal.
Palmerston North local Elvira Olsen, 90, said her 95-year-old neighbour came to her "shaking and almost in tears" on February 3.
He told her six or seven boys aged under 10, jumped on his mobility scooter while he was on Broadway Ave in Palmerston North.
Mrs Olsen said two boys had leaped to the front and tried to get him out of his scooter and take his keys.
Another two got on the back and tried to push him off, Mrs Olsen told the Herald.
Luckily a man driving past saw what was happening and jumped out to yell at the youth and they ran away.
"He was so frightened he didn't know what to do," she said.
She was disgusted with what had happened to her neighbour.
"What are they going to when they are in their teens?
"We were always taught to have respect for elders," she said.
Mrs Olsen finally convinced the man to report the incident to the Police.
She said the sergeant at Palmerston North Police was "absolutely blown away".
"He didn't think children would do such a thing," she said.
The Police had no way of identifying the children or the parents but Mrs Olsen said if found, she wanted the children needed a "darn good talking to".
"I don't think a punishment would work. Two wrongs do not make a right."
She said she wanted the children to also apologise to the neighbour.
The war veteran, who Mrs Olsen said didn't want to be named, told her he wanted to die, after the incident occurred.
"He told me several times after this happened, 'I might as well be dead. I'm no use to anybody.'
"I said to him, we don't want you to go," she said.
The elderly man was too shaken to speak to the Herald.
"It's going to take him a long time to get over it, if he ever does," Mrs Olsen said.
Mrs Olsen, uses her walker when she is out and about doing her shopping, and has had many people running into her.
"People have their phones in front of them and don't watch where they are going.
"I've had people swear and abuse me," she said.
Annie Farrugia, who also lives next-door to the elderly man said she was sick of a the lack of respect shown for elderly people.
Ms Farrugia also uses a mobility scooter when getting around the city.
She now has a broken toe, after hitting a steel pole near the Pak N Save supermarket, trying to avoid a collision with a child running in front of her.
The parent didn't faze, she said.
"They run around crazy, those children."
She said this kind of behavior happened often.
"They come at you with phones in front of their face and give you a dirty look, like you shouldn't be there.