Authorities in Florida say a would-be mugger picked the wrong target last month outside of a West Palm Beach restaurant.
According to the Palm Beach Post, 68-year-old Steve Shepherd was leaving Anita’s Mexican Grill when he was confronted by another man.
He had reportedly injured his leg recently, causing him to walk with a limp, potentially appearing as an easy mark for the suspect.
Instead, Shepherd is a highly trained kickboxer who wasted no time exhibiting his physical skills.
He said the suspect hit him in the head with a bottle, temporarily disorienting him. The attacker had reportedly been captured by nearby surveillance cameras loitering in the area in apparent search for a victim.
A five-time world champ and owner of a kickboxing gym, police say Shepherd made quick work of the threat after initially being punched in the face.
The man allegedly demanded Shepherd’s cellphone, but he received a flurry of punches and kicks that left him badly battered.
“And then he just crumbled right there,” the elite fighter said, adding that he believes he broke the man’s ribs.
Shepherd did not get away unscathed, though, suffering facial bruising and a ruptured eardrum in the fight.
Witnesses stepped in and the assailant was reportedly able to escape on foot. As of this writing, no arrests have been made in the case.
Police say the suspect is believed to be a man in his early 20s with long, dark hair and is possibly homeless.
Shepherd is attempting a comeback fight in March that would make him the oldest kickboxer to enter a professional match. He said he last took on an opponent in 2000, at which time a now-repealed law prevented anyone over 50 years of age from fighting professionally.
He said he hopes his story will “make people 50 and older feel a little less old and feel a little more useful.”
[Featured image: Steve Shepherd, video screenshot]