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Attack did not deter attempt to buy drugs

William Charles Holliday must have wanted his $20 worth of crack pretty bad, authorities say.

On his first attempt, the 27-year-old man was beaten with a metal fence post and hit over the head with a beer bottle, sheriff's officials say.

A few hours later, with bruised ribs and cuts on his face and under his eyes, Holliday was back in the same neighborhood where officials say he had tried to buy drugs earlier.

This time, his luck was not much better.

Holliday, of 7719 Bolam Ave. in New Port Richey, was arrested about 10 p.m. by sheriff's deputies at the intersection of Pine Hill Road and Oak Leaf Avenue, an area known for drug activity. A task force of the Sheriff's Office, the New Port Richey and Port Richey police has been sweeping the area since last week.

Holliday was charged with possession of crack cocaine and possession of drug paraphernalia and was taken to the Pasco County Jail, where he was held in lieu of $5,250 bail.

Witnesses told deputies it was not the first time they had seen Holliday's 1978 Pontiac Grand Prix driving into the Pine Hill neighborhood.

They also said the two men who allegedly beat Holliday and smashed the windows of his car are drug dealers.

Holliday reported the beating to the Sheriff's Office but refused medical treatment.

Holliday, a mechanic who works in Palm Harbor, told deputies he had driven the wrong way down Pine Hill about 4 p.m. Wednesday and planned to turn around on Oak Leaf when a man approached his car and asked for a cigarette.

Holliday said he leaned over to get the pack and the man reached into the car and hit him on the head with a beer bottle.

Holliday stepped on the accelerator to get away, according to sheriff's reports, but the man jumped halfway into the car and grabbed the steering wheel.

With the assailant still hanging on, Holliday's car speeded forward and crashed into a chain-link fence.

As Holliday tried to restart his car and roll up the driver's side window, he said the assailant grabbed a metal fence post and smashed Holliday's rear window and driver's side window.

The man then reached into the car and hit Holliday with the pole, striking him on his back, left ribs and knees.

A second man reached through the passenger window and pulled Holliday's hair, reports said. Clumps of brown hair were found inside Holliday's car, according to reports.

The altercation ended when several residents came outside and threatened to call police.

One woman yelled, "Don't hit him. You could kill him" and said she was going to call 911.

Witnesses said one attacker told the other, "It's not worth it," and the two fled in different directions.

Holliday's arrest came about six hours after the beating.

Sheriff's officials said Holliday was observed by New Port Richey police buying drugs while driving a 1986 Nissan pickup on Oak Leaf Avenue.

Deputies approached the truck, which was parked at a nearby baseball field, and asked for permission to search it.

Holliday consented and deputies found a small piece of crack on the driver's seat and another in Holliday's front left pocket.

Holliday also had a small crack pipe hidden in the front of his pants, according to reports.

Holliday acknowledged to deputies that he had gone to Pine Hill to buy $20 worth of crack. But he said the transaction never took place.

The man who was going to sell him the drugs apparently took his money and told him to drive around the block. Holliday never made it because deputies got to him first, he said.

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