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Groom-to-be breathing on own after being hit by SUV
By REBECCA CATALANELLO
Published July 17, 2007
TAMPA - He's breathing on his own. Fred "Buck" Williams, a father-to-be who was set to be married last weekend, was listed in good condition at St. Joseph's Hospital Monday, five days after police said he was struck by a vehicle.
Williams' mother, Alicia Reynolds, 41, said the family held church at the hospital Sunday, and their spirits were rising. "We think he's going to be okay," Reynolds of Fort Wayne, Ind., said. But she expects a long recovery.
Williams suffered two broken legs and has been in an induced coma since Wednesday morning, after police and witnesses say his bachelor's party turned violent. Reynolds said her son started breathing without the assistance of machines Monday.
Williams, 22, of Largo, was to be married to Deanna Cox, 21, this past Saturday. But he had an altercation with two St. Petersburg men outside 2001 Odyssey strip club in Tampa Wednesday about 3:10 a.m.
Brandon French, 22, told the St. Petersburg Times he was driving a Lexus sport utility vehicle in front of the strip club, 2309 N Dale Mabry Highway, with his buddy Justin Moseley, 25, in the passenger seat. Williams, who they didn't know, trash-talked the Lexus and punched Moseley after he stepped out of the car, they said.
Moseley then ran from Williams, who gave chase, police said. Moseley, who is white, said he then yelled a racial epithet about Williams, who is black, "Somebody run over this n----- and get 10 points!"
French drove the Lexus onto Dale Mabry in an attempt to rescue Moseley, police said. At some point, the SUV struck Williams, and the two St. Petersburg men fled to Pinellas County, where they called police to tell them about their involvement in the incident.
Tampa police spokeswoman Laura McElroy said officers are actively investigating in conference with the State Attorney's Office, and more details about the case were not being released.
Police are still in the stage of building a case, collecting evidence and conducting interviews, McElroy said.
Cox and Williams, who both work in retail at Tyrone Square Mall, became engaged at Christmas after meeting two years ago. Cox is four months' pregnant.