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Scream sends Largo neighbor into action

Steven Parez was standing outside his apartment Monday night when his neighbors' fighting got too much to take.

Thomas Callahan, 42, was fighting with his girlfriend of five months when he pulled out a pocket knife and told her: "Are you happy now&? Now you are gonna get it," according to a police report.

That's when the girlfriend screamed for help.

So Parez got involved, though not quite in the way he expected.

"I don't want to wake up today and have her come out with a black eye or something," he said.

Parez, a 32-year-old window-washer supervisor, said he told Callahan to cool it and go back in his apartment.

"Who's got something to say?" Parez said Callahan responded.

Then Callahan came up to confront him face-to-face.

"He had his right hand behind his back and I knew he had something so I kind of got sideways," Parez said. "As soon as his arm come around I swung and hit him with a straight jab. I think I broke his nose."

The two men tussled in the parking lot outside the Longbranch Apartments at 2175 62nd St. N in Largo. Police said Callahan stabbed Parez. Parez said he was cut several times, including on his thumb and slashes on the back.

The crowd standing around the two men eventually tackled Callahan. When police arrived they arrested him.

Callahan is charged with attempted murder, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, child abuse and domestic abuse. He was being held at the Pinellas County Jail Tuesday without bail.

Parez was treated at Bayfront Medical Center in St. Petersburg and released. Despite his injuries, he said he would be back to work on Thursday because he needs the money. He's just glad that the fight didn't turn into something worse.

"I don't know what I was thinking at the moment," he said. "I was just trying not to let that escalate into something stupid."

Times staff writer Casey Cora contributed to this report. Jonathan Abel can be reached at jabel@sptimes.com or (727) 445-4157.

Scream sends Largo neighbor into action 04/01/08 [Last modified: Wednesday, April 2, 2008 5:34pm]
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