Man, 22, critical after run over near Landing

Police, witnesses say fights spilled into parking lot, led to man being run over

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A 22-year-old man is in the hospital in critical condition after police say he was run over by another man after a fight near the Jacksonville Landing early Friday morning.

Fights broke out after a crowd left the country bar Mavericks Rock N' Honky Tonk about 2:15 a.m., and one man ended up driving over another, according to witnesses. Police haven't released their names, but friends of the man run over identify him as Taylor Evans.

Alexandra Melendez and her friends said they're having a tough time their friend Evans clings to life at Shands Jacksonville Medical Center.

"We were just walking, holding hands because we were best friends having fun, and there was a bunch of raucous going on with other groups of people," Melendez said. "All the sudden I'm looking for my car, I heard a big screech and slam, and I look over to the right two seconds later and Taylor was laying on the ground in a puddle of blood."

Police said there were several fights at Mavericks that continued into a parking lot a few hundred yards away. That's when witnesses told officers a man hit and then ran over Evans. The young man's friends say he was an innocent bystander.

"Taylor wasn't fighting, Taylor wasn't doing anything wrong," Melendez said. "Taylor was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time."

Witnesses told police the man who hit Evans sped off in his white pickup truck. They said he hit other cars along the way. Someone else chased him, and witnesses say stopped him at gunpoint. Then police caught up and took the man in for questioning.

About noon Friday, Jacksonville Sheriff's Office detectives were seen driving around in an unmarked car around the area where all this happened. They had a man in their back seat who appeared to be showing them what he saw early in the morning.

Police said they have not yet made any arrests.

Evans' friends are frustrated the man behind the wheel hasn't been arrested yet.

Channel 4 crime and safety analyst Ken Jefferson said that just because the man's not in jail now doesn't mean he won't be in the future.

"They have to prove that he purposely ran over the guy," Jefferson said. "Alcohol was possibly involved. This person was leaving a bar and had been there for quite some time. You've got a lot of things that the investigators are doing right now that's behind the scenes that we don't know about."

Anyone who saw anything or who may have information is asked to call the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office homicide unit at 904-630-2172 or the non-emergency number at 904-630-0500.