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90 Year-Old Air Force Veteran Injured After Argument In Publix Parking Lot

Posted October 27th, 2017

Winter Haven Police are asking for the assistance of anyone who witnessed and possibly recorded an incident in a Publix parking lot that resulted in a 90 year-old Air Force veteran to sustain significant injuries.
On 10/25/17 at approximately 4:50 p.m., the 90 year-old victim was backing his vehicle out of a parking space at Publix (1395 6th St NW) in Winter Haven. At the same time a black four-door vehicle, possibly a Kia, was driving down the same aisle in the wrong direction.
According to the victim, he looked behind him and it appeared the aisle was clear for him to back out. However, the black vehicle appeared from the opposite direction and the two vehicles collided. Although there was minor damage to the cars, what transpired next is anything but minor.
The victim got out of his car and immediately both occupants of the black vehicle got out and started cursing, yelling and causing a disturbance. As this is going on, there are multiple people walking back and forth by the incident, as well as vehicles driving past the incident. The arguing escalated and went on for approximately six minutes, while bystanders watched. At that point, one of the occupants from the black vehicle struck the victim causing him to land on the pavement face first and also striking his head. The force of the fall resulted in the victim briefly losing consciousness.
Both suspects started to get back inside of the vehicle when a witness attempted to keep the vehicle from leaving. The witness was dragged a short distance before falling to the ground as the suspect vehicle speeds off ultimately leaving the parking lot. The witness did not sustain any injuries.
The victim was taken to Winter Haven Hospital where he was admitted for the injuries including a severe cut to his head and large facial scrapes along with both hands and arms being scraped and bruised. At this time, his status has improved and his injuries are non-life-threatening.
Due to the length of time that the disturbance occurred, Police believe there were witnesses who recorded the incident – even prior to the victim receiving his injuries. Anyone who saw the incident and possibly recorded what was occurring on their phones is asked to contact Winter Haven Police Detective Rod Esteve at 863-401-2256.


** Please note the video attached doesn’t show the actual incident due to trees obscuring where it took place. However, you do see the suspect vehicle drive the wrong direction and then when the vehicle drives off throwing the witness to the ground. The video has been clipped, but the full incident lasted approximately 6 minutes.