Only on 5: Man struck during handicapped space dispute talks

By Jason Miles - bio | email

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - Tommy Esposito started crying when he thought about his busted up arm, bruised, and lack of health insurance.

"Well, I can't pay this," said Esposito.

His nightmare began when he and a friend parked a pickup in a handicapped spot Tuesday outside the Kroger store on Highway 64 in Lakeland.

"Guy in a Cadillac pulled up and said why are you parking there?" said Esposito, "and I said, 'it's none of your business why I'm parking there.'"

Police said Devon Kiss, 24, of Arlington was the man behind the wheel.

"He pulled up a little bit and put it in reverse and floored it and swerved into me," said Esposito.

Esposito said he flew up, hit the trunk, then landed on the ground.

"He backed up again and my legs was up under the car," said Esposito.  "All I could see was the wheels beside me and I guess with all the people hollering, he just left."

Kiss may have assumed Esposito was not disabled because the pickup truck was filled with paving equipment.  The equipment belongs to his elderly uncle who owns a paving company. 

A handicapped placard hangs from the rear view mirror and was clearly visible during the encounter.

Esposito has walked with a cane on and off since a car crash in the 1960's.

"I mean, even if Tommy didn't have a handicapped sticker and wasn't supposed to be in that spot, it was none of that guy's business," says his friend Paula Jacquez

"I would like to ask him, you know, what did I do?" said Esposito.

"To intentionally run someone over in a car," says Jacquez, "it's crazy."

Devon Kiss was charged with reckless aggravated assault and was released from jail on a $50,000 bond.  He has been arrested on similar charges in the past.

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