Local physician intentionally struck by car

Friday, July 23, 2004

Dr. Mark Hosler of Cape Girardeau is not one to run from a confrontation. But a confrontation with several young men in a car early Wednesday morning turned out to be one he couldn't outrun.

Hosler, 57, was running up and down Mount Auburn Hill north of Independence Street on Mount Auburn Road around 12:30 a.m. when a car occupied by several young men drove by. The occupants of the car shouted obscenities at him, and drove off.

Hosler said the car came back twice, and the occupants harassed him each time. On the third trip the car slowed down.

"I went over behind the car and got the license plate number," he said. "I went to the driver's side of the car and said to the driver 'I got your license plate number. I'm going to call the police.'"

He said he probably would not have called the police had the driver of the vehicle not spun the car around and aimed it at him.

Hosler said the driver said "watch this, (expletive)," and struck him with the vehicle. Hosler said he landed on the hood of the car, then rolled off and fell onto the middle of the road. The car headed south.

Hosler said the occupants of the dark-colored, older model car were large white males between the ages of 16 and 20. One was wearing a baseball cap.

Hosler refused medical attention although he said he suffered a few scrapes and bruises. He gave the car's license plate number to the Cape Girardeau Police. Sgt. Rick Schmidt said the number came back to a vehicle belonging to a resident of Labadie, Mo. in Franklin County. The Franklin County sheriff's department contacted the owner of the vehicle around 2:30 a.m. and found that the car had been in the driveway all night.

Schmidt said it may be that the license plate number was inaccurate. He said police are still checking into the incident.

Hosler said there were no witnesses. Busy Mount Auburn Road was empty at that hour, and anyone living in the houses nearby were most likely asleep. He recalled lying on the street for a few minutes seeing the double yellow lines of the roadway under him.

"Fortunately nobody came over the hill," he said. "They would have run over me."

Hosler, a pathologist at Southeast Missouri Hospital for the past 21 years, said he has logged over 100,000 miles over the past 25 years, and runs an average of 5,000 miles a year. The incident will not prevent him from running there again, he said.

Hosler said he will press charges when his assailants are located.

He said if it were to happen again, he would react in the same way. He believes the young men saw in his presence that night "a chance to show their masculinity in an inappropriate way.

"No doubt I could have avoided the confrontation," he said. "But I think I handled it properly. We can't just turn the roads over to these people."


335-6611, extension 160

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