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Man injured while defending stranger in attack

By Times Staff Writer
Published April 19, 2004

TAMPA - A bystander was shot in the hand Sunday night as he tried to help a Tampa man fight off his accused attacker at a south Tampa baseball field, police said.

About 6:40 p.m., Daniel Parsons, 20, of 3813 Van Buren Drive went to the the Interbay Little League baseball park at 6901 S MacDill Ave., where he pointed a gun at the chest of 26-year-old Daniel Menendez of 2702 W Tyson Ave., police said.

"Rob sent me," Parsons told Menendez, according to a police report. Menendez knew that Parsons "had every intention on shooting him," police said, so Menendez grabbed Parsons to fight him off. As he screamed for help, some people in the area saw the gun and ran, police said.

Blaine Biser, 20, of E Robson Street didn't know Parsons or Menendez, police said, but he tried to help Menendez take the gun. In the struggle, the gun went off and a bullet went into Biser's right hand. The gun fell to the ground, but Parsons continued to fight, police said.

Menendez picked up a baseball bat and hit Parsons several times.

Both Parsons and Biser were transported to Tampa General Hospital, where police reported both in stable condition.

After Parsons is treated at the hospital, he'll be released to police and taken to jail to face "several felony charges," police said, possibly including attempted murder.

According to jail records, Parsons has been arrested at least twice in Hillsborough County in the past five years. In November and December 2003, police arrested Parsons on battery charges.

Records show Menendez has been arrested at least nine times in Hillsborough in the past five years, mostly on drug and theft charges. His last arrest came in June 2003, records show.

[Last modified April 19, 2004, 01:05:27]

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