LAW AND ORDER

Police seek suspects in on-campus vehicular assault against cyclists

Shooting victim's kin seek answers


Published: Thursday, October 1, 2009 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, September 30, 2009 at 11:12 p.m.

A husband and his pregnant wife, who were biking on the University of Florida campus last week, found themselves the victims of a hit-and-run after the occupants of a sport utility vehicle heckled the woman and then drove off, dragging her as she was astride her bicycle and then hitting her husband's bicycle.

The 32-year-old woman is several months' pregnant and said she had to be examined to make sure she and her baby were all right after the Friday night incident. The woman had turned around on her bicycle to confront the men in the vehicle when it accelerated and caught the bicycle.

"I was connected to the (SUV) and as they accelerated they dragged me away," she said.

The car then hit her husband's bicycle. The man, a UF graduate student, was coming back through the crosswalk at the time to help her.

University of Florida police have a report on the incident, which the couple reported occurred at about 9 p.m. at Woodlawn Street and Fraternity Row as the men turned right onto Woodlawn Street.

"These guys are flying through and yelling stuff out of their (SUV)," said the woman, who asked not to be identified.

The woman said the men were in a blue-gray, four-door Hyundai SUV.

The couple are asking that anyone with information about the incident contact UF police at 392-1111 and are offering a cash reward for details that provide positive identification of the vehicle's driver.

The family of a local man, left permanently disabled after he was shot in the head in downtown Gainesville two years ago, renewed their plea this week for any new information in the case.

Thursday marked the anniversary of the Sept. 30, 2007, incident when Corey T. Smith, now 30, was shot while he was sitting in a car stopped in westbound traffic on West University Avenue.

Police believe a disturbance at a local club may have prompted the shooting. But Smith, police said, was not part of the fight and was in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Earlier this year, police released a sketch of a man who might have been involved in the disturbance and, if located, could provide them with a lead.

Smith has been through rehabilitation to learn how to walk and talk again but relatives said there are some skills he will never fully recover due to his injuries.

Police are asking that anyone with information about the shooting contact Detective Patty Nixon at 334-2483.

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