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Published: Sunday, 1/8/2006

Man, woman hit by SUV in fight at church

A 26-year-old man and a 19-year-old woman suffered leg injuries last night when they were hit by a sport utility vehicle in the parking lot of Bethlehem Baptist Church, 1430 West Bancroft St. at Auburn Avenue, police said.

The man was taken to Toledo Hospital, the woman to St. Vincent Mercy Medical Center. Their names and conditions were not released.

The victims were among a large group of people, at least 50 of whom were fighting, in the parking lot about 7:30 p.m. when the injuries occurred. All of the involved had just left a boxing match, which was held at the church's life center and was the cause of the melee, Sgt. Greg Smith said.

The driver of the SUV, a man in his 40s whose name was being withheld, drove away from the scene. He later contacted police and said he did so because he felt he and the six or seven boxers, who were passengers in his vehicle, were in danger, the sergeant said.

Police recovered a broken baseball bat at the scene. Officers last night made no arrests in the incident, the sergeant said.

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