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Ben Carson admits he lied about West Point scholarship

NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

Friday, November 6, 2015, 7:52 AM

Republican Presidential candidate Ben Carson claimed in his 1996 book that he had a violent childhood full of moments of ‘pathological anger.’Johnny Louis/FilmMagic

Republican Presidential candidate Ben Carson claimed in his 1996 book that he had a violent childhood full of moments of ‘pathological anger.’

Ben Carson claims he was a troubled child and violent teenager who once tried to hit his mother with a hammer and attempted to stab a close friend to death — but no one can vouch for his dangerous reputation.

The 2016 GOP candidate boasted about his transformation from rage-filled boy to refined, renowned neurosurgeon in his 1996 autobiography, “Gifted Hands: The Ben Carson Story. Nearly 20 years later, the stories from his childhood are under the microscope and his former classmates don’t remember Carson as a rough kid.  

“I don’t know nothing about that,” Gerald Ware, Carson’s classmate at Detroit’s Southwestern High School, told CNN. “It would have been all over the whole school.”

CNN spoke with nine people Carson grew up with. Not one remembered the Republican’s self-proclaimed violent outbursts.

Carson maintained that the autobiography is all factual in a tense Friday interview with CNN, in which he blamed the media for “distracting” the American people from important issues.

“This is a bunch of lies,” he said of the investigation into his past. “It’s attempting to say that I’m lying about my history. I think it’s pathetic.

In the 19-year-old book, Carson claimed he once tried to strike his mother with a hammer as they argued over clothing. His brother Curtis stepped in and disarmed the boy before he could physically harm their mother.

Carson claimed he physically attacked at least two of his school friends. In the seventh grade he hit a boy named Jerry with a lock after he teased Carson for saying something “stupid” in English class.

“I swung at him, lock in hand. The blow slammed into his forehead, and he groaned, staggering backward, blood seeping from a three-inch gash,” Carson wrote.

Two years later, in the ninth grade, he tried to stab a friend who in the book he identified only as “Bob.” The blade stuck Bob’s belt buckle, breaking the blade and leaving the teen unharmed.

 “I was trying to kill somebody,” Carson wrote of the knife attack, calling it a moment of “pathological anger.”

Carson's classmates have described him as a quiet, shy student, not an angry young man.

Carson’s classmates have described him as a quiet, shy student, not an angry young man.

The teenage Carson ran to the bathroom after the failed stabbing and prayed. Since then, he has never had a problem with his temper, he claimed in the book.

Carson’s classmates remembered him as introverted and studious — someone who was more likely to be found in the library than in the middle of a schoolyard fight.

“He was a quiet, shy kid, not too outgoing,” said his junior high and high school classmate Jerry Dixon. “Bennie stayed home a lot or went to the library to work.”

Dixon said he is not the Jerry the doctor-turned-politician beat with a lock — and said he had never even heard of such an incident.

Carson refused to reveal the names of his victims in the Friday interview, saying to name them would be “victimizing.”

He admitted that he changed the names in his autobiography, but maintained both “Bob” and “Jerry” are real people who will only be identified if they chose to come forward on their own.

“Tell me what makes you think you’re going to find those specific people?” Carson asked the CNN achor. “What is your methodology? Because I don’t understand it.”

Carson’s campaign adviser Armstrong Williams also refused to identify the candidate’s alleged victims or provide any kind of documentation showing disciplinary actions for his claimed school fights.

“Why would anyone cooperate with your obvious witch hunt?” Armstrong Williams wrote to CNN in an email last week, the day before Halloween. “No comment and moving on…… Happy Halloween!!!!!”

mwagner@nydailynews.com

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