Right now, Tampa Police are searching for a driver who plowed into people and the front of a bar in Ybor City. Newly released surveillance video is clear and it’s crazy. It shows the driver take off, and he still hasn’t been arrested by police.
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The victim who got hit tells 10News, “I was scared. I didn't know what was going to happen. Thank God I survived it,” says 25-year-old Michael Silhol.
The video shows a group of guys fighting in the street on 7th Avenue in Ybor City, surrounding a car. The Nissan starts to rock on the curb, then drives right up on the sidewalk. The car hits one man and tosses Silhol onto the hood and into the entryway of the Bad Monkey bar.
The rest of the brawlers scatter. It takes the driver just 13 seconds to decide to take off. It appears he doesn’t think twice about the injured victim who crawls over the car before he collapses on the sidewalk.
“My ribs are bruised, my leg is all messed up, they did a CAT scan on my head,” says Silhol.
Silhol says he and a friend had been walking back to their car after closing time, around 3:30 a.m. Tuesday, when he says – unprovoked -- the group jumped them.
“5 to 6 people just hopped out of the car and got in our face, and they struck my buddy, that's when the fight escalated,” says Silhol.
“I remember looking down and seeing the Nissan symbol. It hit me, and I kind of popped up on the car, and it flew me all the way into the wall,” says Silhol.
Ybor City patrons are stunned watching the video.
“Oh! He ran away?!” questions Marina Eberhart.
“He was trying to run them over is what I think happened,” says witness Alexa Satmary, who works right across the street.
“From the video footage, it does look like it was intentional,” says Silhol.
Tampa police tell 10News that the driver had been trying to make a u-turn, but got stuck on the curb. In the video, you can see the wheels are turning.
Investigators say one of the guys, wearing red shoes in the video, who nearly got hit is a friend of the driver. Police don’t believe the driver would try to hit his friend and aren’t sure if he tried to ram into the other guys.
Depending on the investigation, the driver will likely face charges for taking off after hurting someone and doing $15,000 damage to the bar.
TPD insists Ybor City is safe saying violent crimes (robbery, forcible sex, aggravated assault) and property crimes (burglary, shoplifting, vehicle theft, larceny) are down nearly 38 percent from last year.
Right now, investigators are tracking down the driver and say he still hasn't come forward to claim his car or tell his side of what happened.
No arrests have been made in this incident.