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Video: Tenant’s dad allegedly crushes landlord with car

  1. Closed captioning of: Tenant’s dad allegedly crushes landlord with car

    >>> strangers.

    >>> now to the brutal attack on florida man last month, caught on surveillance tape. he was mowed down by a man driving a station wagon and amazingly, he survived when bystanders rushed to his rescue. more on the story from nbc's kerry sanders .

    >> reporter: choked with emotion -- professor john h. hill said he's lucky to be alive. and you'll agree when you watch this surveillance tape. that's the professor running for his life as a driver targets him and then runs him down. look at it again. the 63-year-old in a full sprint looks back moments before a station wagon runs him down and crushes him.

    >> you almost ripped yourself in half, but not quite. and that's what your pelvis looks like right now. you have six screws in there. this is the clamp we used to help put the pelvis back together and it causes the pelvis to open up like a book.

    >> yes, bad injury.

    >> well, professor it's amazing that you're alive and i think you feel the same way?

    >> absolutely. within my heart and soul i just give all of the praise to god and my mother. for being there for me.

    >> reporter: how he survived is just as remarkable and it's all right there on the surveillance tape. bystanders still trying to process what they just witnessed, rushed over and lifted, yes, lifted the 3500-pound car. 5'9", 180-pound ft. lauderdale police officer paul brown directed the spontaneous rescue. lift the car? i don't know, if i had to do it over again, i don't think i could do it.

    >> the driver, 59-year-old frank parker is charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. he initially escaped to a convenience store. but the crowd found him, pulled him out and began to beat him. and why did parker allegedly run professor hill down to begin with? as the police report says, hill told him to stop repeatedly parking his car on the grass.

    >> this is our family home.

    >> reporter: a lifelong resident here, hill is convinced the neighborhood came to his rescue, because he's always been there for them. you got back what you gave?

    >> i got back what i gave.

    >> reporter: a horrific ordeal, now an amazing survivor story. for "today," kerry sanders , nbc news, ft. lauderdale.

    >> and professor john hill is here with his wife, sheryl and his attorney, ginger cartwright. good morning to you all, so nice to meet you. what you've been through, john. tell me, how are you doing. we see you're still in a wheelchair. how soon before you'll be able to be up and move around again?

    >> hopefully very soon. at this time, i'm not able to walk. but with the grace of god , hopefully very soon i will be walking again.

    >> we saw based on the x-rays, that kerry sanders , your doctor, your doctor was showing us, your pelvic bone was completely fractured in half, right?

    >> it was pulled apart. it's called a dislocation and i'm recovering from that. that's why i'm not able to walk at this time. and also the cheekbone has been fractured and my ear was almost lacerated and pulled away from my skull.

    >> very lucky to be alive. how did all of this start? the moments leading up to this the horrendous tape and the images that we see? what happened?

    >> well, it was just a mere pleasant remark i made to the gentleman about parking on the grass.

    >> this was the father of a tenant, right?

    >> the father of a tenant. and he became very irate and began to approach me with a very profane language. and very hostile approach. and i began to get back and i was just very afraid of him. it just moved from there. of he got into his car.

    >> is that when you started to run? did you realize you were --

    >> i didn't think that he was actually going to do that. he got into the car. then i saw he began to chase me. and that's when i began running for my life.

    >> and then you fell down. and you say that actually was, was good. why was, why was that a good thing in your point of view?

    >> well, at the time i was not happy that i was falling. i was realizing that i was falling. and i was saying to myself, oh, my god, why let me fall. don't let me fall, because the car is going to run over me. and i happened to see the spiritual cloud of my mom and god around me. and they made me fall. so that was in the plan. had i not fallen, then i would have been killed immediately and plastered against the pole or the wall.

    >> how hard is it for you, sheryl, to see that video of your husband like that?

    >> very, very hard.

    >> i know you've really only seen it once.

    >> i only watched it once. and honestly, i really, really could not believe that it was happening to him. and right now, our concentration is to help him to get better. so that he can walk again and have a normal life .

    >> how is he doing now?

    >> he's doing a lot better. yeah, he just wants to get up out of that chair.

    >> talking about by the grace of god . but also by the grace of your neighbors and some very amazing bystanders, who lifted the car off of you.

    >> amazing.

    >> do you remember that moment?

    >> well actually i was unconscio unconscious, under the car, tagged under the car and pinned under there. after i saw the film, i was so in awe that i've had so many people come together with all the collection of adrenaline, just to pick this car up or turn into the incredible hulk , if you will. and ha was amazing how these guys rallied for my life. to do that. and i've thanked all of them.

    >> i know you want to thank them.

    >> you want to do something nice for them.

    >> i've told them i will do that as well.

    >> meantime, tell us about the man, ginger, the man franklin parker, who now as i understand, there are some charges against him. some very serious charges.

    >> absolutely. initially he was charged with be a vaggravated assault. those have been upgraded to attempted murder in the first degree. so if he is convicted of those charges, he would possibly serve a life sentence .

    >> and there's going to be a civil case as i understand?

    >> absolutely. we plan on filing a civil suit in this case. although mr. hill looks amazing now, you know, he has a lot of injuries and he suffered a lot. and he will have medical treatment for the rest of his life. so we, we plan on doing that and filing a lawsuit.

    >> well, we wish you all the best, john, it's a miracle, really is.

    >> nice to see you, sir. thank you.

    >>> and coming up, still valerie

By
TODAY contributor
updated 1/11/2010 11:15:40 AM ET 2010-01-11T16:15:40

The video is astonishing. A Florida man has been run over and is trapped beneath a 3,500-pound car. With no time to spare, a group of bystanders takes hold of one side of the car and physically lifts it high in the air, saving the man’s life.

“They turned into the Incredible Hulk,” John Henry Hill, the man under the car, told TODAY’s Natalie Morales Monday in New York as he watched surveillance video of the incident that nearly killed him.

“I was unconscious under the car. After I saw the film, I was so in awe that I had so many people come together with all of this collection of adrenaline,” Hill said. “That was just amazing, how these guys rallied for my life to do that.”

Bizarre attack
The 63-year-old Hill sat in a wheelchair, his pelvis still healing after being broken when the irate father of one of his tenants allegedly chased Hill down with his car and ran the landlord over on Dec. 10 in Fort Lauderdale.

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Finally out of the hospital and on the mend, Hill could now talk about the bizarre attack that began with what he considers an innocuous request he made of 59-year-old Franklin Parker to not park on the lawn of the house that Parker’s daughter was renting from Hill.

“It was just a mere pleasant remark I made to the gentleman about parking on the grass,” Hill told Morales. “He became very irate and began to approach me with very profane language and a very hostile approach.

“I began to get back and I was just very afraid of him. It just moved from there, and he got into his car.”

Hill never supposed that Parker, who has been charged with attempted homicide, meant to run him over until the man reportedly began chasing him with the car, turning “doughnuts” on the lawn of the rental property.

“That’s when I began running for my life,” Hill said.

Hill ran off the property and around the corner. Surveillance video shows Parker’s ’92 Ford Taurus station wagon pursuing him down the street, over a curb and onto a lawn. Then Hill falls down and the Taurus completely runs him over before stopping just short of a utility pole with Hill hidden beneath the vehicle.

TODAY
Surveillance video shows John Henry Hill under a station wagon that pursued him over a curb onto a lawn.
Hill lost consciousness when he was run over, but he remembers very clearly running for his life, and then his alarm when he started to fall with the car hot behind him.

‘Don’t let me fall’
“At the time I was not happy that I was falling,” he said. “I was saying to myself, ‘Oh my God, don’t let me fall, because the car’s going to run over me!’ ”

But then he had a vision that set his mind at ease. “I just happened to see this spiritual cloud of my mom and God around me and they made me fall. That was in the plan. Had I not fallen, then I would have been killed immediately and plastered against the pole or the wall,” Hill said.

TODAY
An X-ray shows the damage to Hill’s pelvis.
Parker got out of the car after running down Hill and is seen on the video assaulting a bystander before running into a nearby store. In the store, a group of local residents who know Hill threw Parker out on the sidewalk, where more video shows them administering a beating to the suspect.

Amazing feat
Meanwhile, Hill remained under the car for a couple of minutes until Fort Lauderdale police officer Paul Brown arrived and realized that somebody had to free Hill.

Brown asked the local residents to help him lift the car. Weeks later, Brown told NBC News’ Kerry Sanders he still doesn’t know how they did it.

“If I had to do it all over again, I don’t think I could do it,” Brown told Sanders.

In addition to the damage to his pelvis, Hill suffered a broken cheekbone. He said his ear was almost torn from his head as well.

TODAY
John Henry Hill (in wheelchair) spoke to TODAY's Natalie Morales along with his wife, Cheryl, and his attorney, Ginger Cartwright.
“At this time I’m not able to walk. With the grace of God, hopefully very soon I will be walking again,” Hill told Morales.

“He just wants to get up out of that chair,” added his wife, Cheryl, who joined him on TODAY.

Also on the show was Hill’s attorney, Ginger Cartwright, who said that Parker faces a possible life sentence if convicted of attempted murder. She added that she intends to file a civil suit against Parker on Hill’s behalf.

“Although Mr. Hill looks amazing now, he has a lot of injuries, and he suffered a lot,” Cartwright said. “He will have medical treatment for the rest of his life.”

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