KISSIMMEE, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35) - The Osceola County Sheriff’s Office is searching for the driver caught on camera following a man to his job and running him over in the parking lot.
Deputies said on July 19 at about 5:30 p.m. Anthony Cruz was pulling into the parking lot at the Cracker Barrel in Kissimmee when a driver in a white Nissan Versa followed him into the lot.
Surveillance video from the restaurant shows the vehicle pull up directly behind Cruz’s. When Cruz got out of the car the vehicle accelerated directly into him.
Cruz said he attempted to jump onto the hood of the car but his feet got caught on the curb and the vehicle pulled him under – running him over before driving through the grass and out of view.
“Dragged me about like 10 or 15 feet,” said Cruz.
Cruz can be seen in the video getting to his feet for a brief moment before falling to the ground; Cruz said that’s the moment when he blacked out. When he came to an unknown time later Cruz said he was in bad shape.
"I couldn't move my legs, they were numb. I couldn't really scream because both my lungs, one was punctured one was collapsed,” said Cruz.
He said he waved one arm as best as he could to try and get anyone’s attention. Eventually a passing driver saw him, called 911, and got his co-workers from inside the Cracker Barrel. When they got outside, Cruz said he began coughing up blood.
"At that point in my head I was dying. I told my managers, 'I don't want to die, I don't deserve this.”
Doctors were able to save Cruz. He said he had several broken bones including his pelvis, severe road rash that persists weeks later, and had to undergo three surgeries.
Today he is confined to a wheelchair and winces with pain at nearly every movement he makes. Cruz said he hopes to recover, but it could take more than a year to get his body working again.
In the meantime, he has no insurance and his girlfriend is supporting both of them. Friends have started a Go Fund Me page to help, but he said the real assistance would be to bring that other driver to justice.
Cruz said it’s possible he cut that driver off somewhere along the road or did something else to anger him, but he said nothing that would warrant an attempt to kill him.
"The scary thing is this guy's still out there on the road - he's still out there,” said Cruz.
The driver of the Nissan is described as a white male, approximately 40-50 years old, weighing 210-225 lbs, and the car is described as a white Nissan Versa with tinted windows with a “light blue tint” strip across the front window.
Osceola County Sheriff’s detectives are asking for the public’s help in identifying the suspect and/or the vehicle in this case. Anyone with information in this case is asked to please contact the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office at (407) 348-2222 or Crimeline at 1-(800)423-8477, where information leading to an arrest may be eligible for cash rewards of up to $1,000.