Tampa investigators still searching for suspect who crashed into bar, hit someone

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Tampa Police Department investigators need the public’s help identifying the person who drove a car through an Ybor City bar, hitting someone. While the Bad Monkey bar is back up and running, the damage is still evident.

Thus far, police haven’t caught the culprit.

Cameras rolled earlier this month as a fight broke out near the Bad Monkey. Punches were thrown, and the car then plowed over a man, crashing into the bar. The Bad Monkey sustained $15,000 worth of damage, police said.

The video shows what appear to be witnesses. “There were a number of people there but many of them scattered as soon as this happened so there were only so many people left that we could talk to,” Tampa Police Department Spokesman Steve Hegarty said.

Police thought they’d get information from the man that was mowed over – but he’s not talking. “That person was taken to the hospital and promptly left the hospital. He was not interested in sticking around. He was not interested in pursuing the case or being treated,” Hegarty said.

Police have the car that hit that man but they said it’s not a straightforward case from there. “One of the challenges with a hit and run is that you have to definitively know who was behind the wheel of the car at the time. It doesn’t matter who owns the car,” Hegarty explained.

In addition, this is a rental car. “It might be easy to find out who should be driving the car but that’s not necessarily who was driving the car and it suggests whoever was driving the car may have been from out of town,” Hegarty said.

That could explain why no one is talking and why no one has answers. “Very often when you see video, people look at it and say, ‘That’s my next-door neighbor; I know exactly who that is,’ and they give us a tip. If they’re from out of town, (it isn’t) as easy,” Hegarty said.

Police ask anyone with information to call the department at (813) 276-3200.

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