SPRING HILL — David Archer said he was just trying to merge into traffic.
On the afternoon of Feb. 20, Archer had just picked up his brother's medication at the Walgreens at 16200 County Line Road. Traffic was stopped at County Line Road and Shady Hills Road. He was waiting to cut across the northbound lane to turn south on Shady Hills Road when he saw a spot in front of a dump truck.
He began pulling out in his Ford pickup, but as he did, the dump truck, waiting in the northbound lane, lurched forward, he said. Archer tossed his arms up in frustration.
"And then the next thing I knew he was dragging me out of my truck," he said.
Archer, 49, said he wasn't wearing a seat belt when the dump truck driver flung the pickup's door open and snatched him out. Archer stands 5 feet 6. He said he doesn't remember what the other man looked like — just that he was well over 6 feet tall.
"I wasn't looking at his face much," Archer said. "I was looking at his boot kicking me in the face."
He said the man slammed the pickup's door on his legs, then let him fall limp to the parking lot pavement where he kicked him in the ribs, chest and stomach.
Archer estimates the beating went on for three to five minutes before bystanders ran the other man off. The man jumped back into his own truck with "Papco Trucking" on the side and drove off, heading east on County Line Road, Archer said.
Archer lay there sore, his glasses broken. He called his daughter, who drove him to Regional Medical Center Bayonet Point.
Pasco sheriff's deputies are still searching for the man who beat Archer. The Sheriff's Office would not release many details because the investigation is ongoing, said spokeswoman Melanie Snow, but detectives are looking for a possible suspect and trying to get a warrant.
Archer said none of his bones were broken in the fight, but the pain has kept him from sleeping and working.
He is the owner of Archer's Family Values Horse Rescue, a nonprofit horse shelter in Hudson, but he hasn't been able to keep up because of his soreness, he said. This week he was supposed to clear and sod a wooded area but had to pay someone else to do it.
He said he was given pain pills when he went to the hospital last week but can't afford any more doctor's visits because he's uninsured.
"It's costing me a lot," he said. "Nobody deserves that."
Alex Orlando can be reached at [email protected] or (727) 869-6247.