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Police untangling facts about brawl

One victim of the fight was beaten with a pipe, police say, and is listed in critical condition.

By CARY DAVIS

© St. Petersburg Times, published April 28, 2000


ZEPHYRHILLS -- Police continued their investigation Thursday into a fight that left a Zephyrhills man fighting for his life in a Tampa hospital.

Police said the fight began Wednesday afternoon in front of 38027 Old Fifth Ave. with an argument involving about 15 people. The argument spawned a fight among four people, police said.

One of men involved in the fight, Loy Lee Hardwick, 44, was beaten in the head with a pipe, police said. He suffered head trauma and possibly a broken jaw.

Hardwick was listed in critical condition Thursday at St. Joseph's Hospital. Police said he was on a respirator.

Police have identified everyone involved, but witnesses are telling conflicting stories, said Zephyrhills police Capt. Richard Scudder.

Two men who police said were involved in the fight, and may be responsible for Hardwick's injuries, fled the scene. Police later found and interviewed them.

But police had made no arrests as of late Thursday because they were still trying to determine what happened. Police said they still don't know what instigated the fight.

"There's a lot of contradictions right now," Scudder said.

Hardwick's family could not be reached for comment Thursday.

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