PITTSBURGH (KDKA/CNN) – Business owners in a town outside of Harrisburg are raising money for a man who has become a black and gold fixture in the town.
If you’re on West King Street in Shippensburg, you’re in Ralph Keeseman’s part of town. And you’ll probably see him walking, wearing his Steelers gear every day.
He waves at cars, hands out cards on holidays and visits friends at businesses along the street, including Michael Collins at Guerilla Tattoo.
“He loves his team, he loves Elvis Presley, and you can’t say anything bad about either of them,” says Collins.
Ralph has special needs. And sometimes on the street, he makes noise.
“People pick on him a lot too, so I think sometimes he’s yelling because he’s mad, but I see him getting bullied a lot,” says Collins.
But, on Monday, Ralph wasn’t just wearing his black and gold. He also had a black eye. That’s because after he left his regular spot at the Hot Point Inn on Saturday, someone punched him in the face.
“He smacked me right in the face,” says Ralph. “My coat, my coat was completely bloody.”
Ralph says at about midnight he was walking home along Earl Street when a drunk man approached him and started harassing him about the Steelers. And he says that’s when things got ugly.
“He said he hated the Steelers so bad. He’s a college kid,” Ralph said.
The man punched Ralph, who says he then fought back.
“I hit him with my umbrella and he took off,” Ralph said.
Ralph called the police at a gas station nearby and a state trooper responded.
“I called the police, state police is mad because he’s a Steelers fan too, and he’s very mad,” Ralph says.
The man who hit him has not been found. But in the meantime, the community Ralph loves has pulled together to take him to his first game at Heinz Field.
The fundraising page has already far surpassed the $400 goal.
“I thought we’d just get some seats at the top, and now we’ll probably get some seats at the bottom,” Collins says.
Ralph says the attack didn’t scare him.
“I ain’t even angry, I’m too tough,” he says.
Instead, he’s thankful.
“I love the whole town. Too many people love me, that’s all I gotta say,” Ralph says.
If you’d like to donate, you can do so here.