Randall Nelson hit and dragged by nephew, Philip Atkins, with his car over cigarette dispute
Jacqueline Ingles, WFTS
1:39 PM, Jun 18, 2013
SPRING HILL, Fla. - Matt Mulch didn't hear the screeching tires or the fighting going on across the street from his Spring Hill house Friday afternoon.
But his wife did and told him to go check it out.
When Mulch ran out the front door of his home on Fentress Court he found the mangled body of Randall Nelson, 49.
"His right leg was akimbo," recalled Mulch. "It looked like it was broken."
Hernando County deputies say Nelson was intentionally run over and then dragged 75 feet by his nephew, Philip Atkins, 28.
Family members, who declined to speak on camera, told ABC Action News the fight was over cigarettes.
Deputies say around 4 p.m., Atkins became angry and left the family's home at 2079 Fentress Court.
At the time, deputies say Atkins had his two-year-old son and his girlfriend with him inside his Ford Expedition.
According to an arrest affidavit, Atkins pulled out of the driveway and stopped at the corner while he continued to yell out his window at his family members. The affidavit goes on to state that Atkins drove his SUV into Spring Hill Drive causing vehicles to swerve out of the way and then drove back into the front yard of his family's home.
Nelson threw a beer bottle at his nephew's car at that time, deputies said.
Deputies said Atkins continued to drive his truck recklessly in a circular pattern on the front lawn and hit a utility trailer parked on the lawn. After hitting the trailer, deputies said Atkins drove forward toward his uncle, struck him, knocked him down and then dragged him for 75 feet in a semi-circular pattern.
"Those tire tracks are pretty extreme," said Denise Moloney, public information officer with the Hernando County Sheriff's Office.
Atkin's stopped his SUV near the family's garage, the affidavit states.
"Families get into disputes all the time. They usually don't run each other over, but I guess stranger things have happened," Moloney said.
Family members could not say exactly how fast Atkins was driving, but described him as "cranking it."
"He was asking for help. He was obviously scared. He couldn't feel his legs," Mulch said.
Mulch said he kept trying to talk to Nelson in an effort to keep him calm.
Nelson was taken to the hospital via helicopter.
Meanwhile, Mulch said Atkins ran inside the home and that is where deputies arrested him.
Atkins is being held on $100,000 bond and is facing a felony aggravated battery charge. According to the arrest affidavit, Atkins admitted he became angry at his uncle, wanted to run him over and then did run him over.
However, those charges could be upped if Nelson succumbs to his injuries.