BRIGHTON, Colo. (KDVR) — An ice cream truck driver is recovering from an attack in Brighton on Thursday afternoon.

Lyman Hamlin came across a group of people near Benedict Park, where he was selling ice cream out of a truck, as he usually does. He said someone in the group asked him for a free ice cream on their birthday.

“I said, ‘No, I can’t do that. What if the three of us spank you for your birthday?'” Hamlin said, and when I said that he jumped in the truck and started hitting me.”

The person Hamlin is talking about left him bloodied and beaten in his truck.

“Well, I wanted him to stop hitting me,” Hamlin said. “He hit 10 to 12 times. I didn’t keep track.”

That beating was made all the worse for 77-year-old Hamlin, who said he’s on medication.

“I’m on blood thinner, and the blood was just pouring out of my eye, and I just wanted it to be over,” Hamlin said.

After it was over, Hamlin was taken to the hospital, treated and eventually discharged. He’s back at home now, pondering how something like this could happen to him.

“I’m not mad, I’m not sad,” Hamlin said, “I’m just kind of neutral that someone would do this, and someone would do this to me.”

A man with a gray beard and a black eye
Lyman Hamlin, 77, drives an ice cream truck for a living. Police say he was beaten at a park in Brighton on Thursday afternoon. (Rogelio Mares, KDVR)

Selling ice cream as a winter lifeline

Ruth, his wife of 41 years, said his job selling ice cream from April to October helps them save money.

“We’re on a very tight, tight fixed income,” Ruth said, “and so when he sells ice cream, we want to be able to supplement through the winter.”

Hamlin said he hopes to recover and get back to selling ice cream again.

“This eye is pretty tender,” Hamlin said. “I couldn’t see out of it for half a day after this happened, but I’m OK. Thank God for that.”

The Hamlins are counting their blessings, thankful it wasn’t worse.

“I allowed myself just maybe 10 minutes of what could have happened,” Ruth said, “and then I had a good cry and then we go on and are thankful for the little that did happen.”

Brighton Police said the attacker took off with Hamlin’s tip jar and several ice cream bars.

The Hamlins set up a fundraiser for folks who want to help.

Brighton Police describe the attacker as a Hispanic male around 20 years old and 5 feet, 10 inches tall, thin and wearing a white T-shirt. A woman with him had a tattoo that said “420” on her right forearm. They took off in a gray sedan before police got to the scene.

Call Brighton Police if you can help track them down.