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UNF Spinnaker

UNF's #1 Student-Run News Source

UNF Spinnaker

UNF's #1 Student-Run News Source

UNF Spinnaker

Road rage attack lands UNF student in coma

A UNF student and his friend were physically assaulted by two unknown suspects during a road rage incident April 17 in Jacksonville Beach.

The passenger was a 22-year-old sports management major and is still in critical condition in the intensive care unit at Shands Hospital, said the passenger’s mother.

She said he is still in a coma and experiencing inner cranium pressure. The doctors have given him a drug to keep him paralyzed.

“We are just taking it one day at a time,” she said. “It is just a very slow process.”

The Spinnaker has decided not to release the names of the victims due to the possibility of retribution from the still at-large suspects.

According to the incident report:

The UNF student’s friend was driving when they were cut off by two unknown males driving a black Chevy Silverado. The driver flashed his bright lights at the vehicle. He then proceeded to make a left-hand turn. The suspects’ turned and followed them. He then pulled over, and the two suspects began punching the two of them. During the altercation the UNF student fell and hit his head on the pavement. The two suspects, both white males, then fled away. The driver then told told the police that his passenger was intoxicated during the fight.

One of the first on the scene was Bryan Ware, an experienced taxi driver, who said he offered to call 911.

He said the driver said no.

He asked again.

The driver then yelled no.

“I thought he was just trying to avoid a possible DUI, but with the lifeless body [the passenger] lying on the ground, I decided to call anyway,” Ware said.

Ware said it was seemed that the driver had been drinking, though not drunk, he was “fairly coherent.”

“The whole situation was utterly ridiculous,” Ware said.

Ware said he was impressed with how fast the police arrived, less than ten minutes after he called.

Ware noticed a gash above the driver’s right eye from the physical altercation.

The driver declined to comment, and messages left with Detective Dziedzicki, who is in charge of the investigation, were not returned.

Ware said the police should be able to use video surveillance from an area gas station to help find the suspects, but the Jacksonville Beach Police Dept. have not released any information.

*** Update ***

The driver said the police checked and there were no outside cameras.

In hindsight, the driver said, he would have done everything he could to avoid getting out of the vehicle.

“It was all in the moment,” he said.

He said the suspects were probably intoxicated, “At least I hope they were.”

But what are the chances, the police actually catch the suspects?

The driver said the police don’t really have much chance in catching the suspects because of the lack of information he was able to give to the police.

“They don’t have much to go on,” he said.

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Comments (5)

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  • G

    GurgenApr 26, 2009 at 8:46 pm

    who, what, what happen, who stoped who hit who, Can you write a story in plain english.

  • T

    TimApr 25, 2009 at 8:27 pm

    This is the type of behavior that is becoming much too frequent of an event. Someone getting all bent out of shape because a driver flashed their lights at them. I hope the people who performed this vicious act are caught and punished as they should be. Thank you for providing a place for reader comments. I may incorporate a link to this service on North-Florida-Online.com

  • H

    HankApr 24, 2009 at 8:54 pm

    I don’t know why the driver didn’t want help. People are so crazy these days. I would have never got out of the car. Hope they catch the punks

  • R

    RebeccaApr 23, 2009 at 1:25 am

    Great last minute investigative journalism, Josh. I’m proud of you.

    My prayers are with the family.

  • J

    Josh SalmanApr 22, 2009 at 9:09 pm

    Good job on the quick post … what a good newspaper!