A 20-year-old Palm Harbor man is accused of leaning out a car window and hitting a passing Clearwater cyclist with a golf umbrella, police say. The attack was caught on surveillance camera and has resulted in a Marine veteran losing vision in his eye.
Michael Nuckolls of Palm Harbor is now facing aggravated battery charges.
According to police, Nuckholls was riding in the back of Jeep Compass, which was being driven by a 16-year-old girl, when he reached out the back window with a golf umbrella and hit a 44-year-old cyclist in the face.
That cyclist is U.S. Marine veteran Derek Queener.
Queener told ABC Action News Saturday morning he now has permanent vision loss.
"At least this guy is not going to assault you, hopefully other kids will see this and realize that this is not how you go out and have a good time," said Derek Queener.
Nuckolls has previous arrests for grand theft, petit theft, burglary, domestic battery, uttering forged bills and violating probation.
Per Rob Shaw, spokesperson for Clearwater Police, there were four people in the car at the time of the incident. There were two 16-year-old girls in the front and Nuckolls and another man were in the back.
A 44-year-old Clearwater man is recovering from a broken orbital bone after he says teens driving an SUV pulled up next to him while he was riding his bike and sucker punched him through the car window Tuesday.
Home surveillance video captured the attack.
Derek Queener, 44, say he was riding his bike on Jackson Street between North Lincoln and North Prescott Streets when a group of teens pulled up next to him in Jeep.
"You could feel the bright flash," said Queener of the punch. "Everything went black in my left eye."
Queener says he has a broken orbital bone, among other injuries.
Queener told ABC Action News the teens also yelled out the window at him.
"They yelled out how do you like that [expletive]?" Queener recalled.
The video has now been handed over to Clearwater PD.
"Not only did they assault me they decided to taunt me like it was funny," Queener said.
A second man was attacked less than 24 hours later and called a racial slur, according to Queener. That incident was also captured on home surveillance camera.
The car is described as a silver Jeep Compass with black rims and after market ground effects package.