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Stroke and cancer victim becomes hit-and-run victim while on vacation

The victim in a wheelchair suffered minor injuries
Posted at 10:58 PM, Mar 09, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-09 23:17:05-05

LARGO, Fla. — Largo Police arrested a man after officers say he rear-ended a couple's van before crashing into a police cruiser.

37-year-old Ervin Zubic was arrested for several charges including leaving the scene of a crash, possession of a controlled substance, and DUI involving property charges.

The crash happened near the intersection of 66th Street and 142nd Avenue.

Shawn Barke was in the van's passenger seat when the crash happened.

"That's crazy. That's like something you see on the cop shows or whatever. Somebody does a hit-and-run like that," said victim Shawn Barke.

Photos showed Largo Police arresting the impaired driver. Officers say they found prescription bottles and steroids in a duffel bag inside the suspect's vehicle. Police say his breath smelled like alcohol.

Barke showed ABC Action News the damage to his van. It damaged a lift since the van is wheelchair accessible. Barke has been in a wheelchair since November after a spinal stroke.

"I just hope that nothing like this every happens to anybody in his family, hope he thinks twice about doing something like this again," said Barke.

Officers say a witness saw the suspect hit the van and take off. The witness dialed 911 and followed the suspect before he crashed into a police cruiser.

"Everything, the hood kind of smashed up pretty good and he backs up, goes right along the side of us and starts taking off," added Barke.

Barke says he suffered minor injuries including neck and back pain. He said he came to Florida for a much-needed vacation. He has been battling prostate cancer and says the cancer is in remission. Barke says he hopes this young man learns to value life.

"I mean, what if this was his dad, his brother, his cousin that this happened would he feel about it? That's how I look at situations like this," said Barke.

Zubic is out of jail on bond. We tried reaching him, but have not heard back.