SLIDELL -- A 73-year-old man was beaten Thursday morning during what police described as a “brutal” attack following a road-rage incident.

Police said the beating was reported a little before noon near Reine Avenue and Old Spanish Trail. A caller told 911 dispatchers two young men were beating the victim, who was still inside his car.

Officers arrived to find Brett McCraney, 19, of Slidell, and Adonis Young, 26, of New Orleans, hiding in a nearby house. The victim, who police said was disoriented, had “severe” injuries.

McCraney told police he and Young were walking across Reine when the victim almost hit them with his car.

The suspects said they began to yell at the victim, who pulled over, which they took as a sign of aggression, police said.

“McCraney told officers he felt like he had to defend his territory and ‘show him what was up,’” said Det. Daniel Seuzeneau, a Slidell Police Department spokesman.

McCraney began to beat the man who was still in the driver’s seat of his car, while Young went to the passenger side, opened the door and also began to hit the victim, police said.

The victim was treated at a Slidell hospital for “severe” facial injuries and was later brought to University Medical Center in New Orleans. Police said he could not remember any details about the beating.

McCraney and Young were booked with disturbing the peace and second-degree battery. Police said they could face additional charges and enhanced penalties because of the victim’s age.

“This is a heinous act. There is no excuse or explanation that can justify the actions of these two men,” Slidell Police Chief Randy Fandal said in a prepared statement. “We will work closely with the district attorney’s office to ensure this case is prosecuted to the full extent of the law.”