2 Dead, 1 Hurt in Fla. Beach Melee
NEW SMYRNA BEACH, Fla. (AP) _ During their week at a modest beachfront resort, three young Maryland vacationers won over other guests with their friendliness and good manners.
The young men played video games and horsed around in the pool with the children of other guests. They sat on the resort’s beachfront deck at night and played cards.
But their friendliness and willingness to help others may have cost one man serious injuries and the other two their lives.
The three came to the aid of a young woman being bothered by a group of young men Thursday night. Hours later, police said, the woman’s harassers returned with friends and attacked the three with knives and bats.
Kevans Bradshaw Hall II, 23, and Matthew Wichita, 21, both of Columbia, Md., where killed.
Seth K. Qubeck, 21, also of Columbia, was in serious but stable condition at Halifax Medical Center in Daytona Beach, hospital spokeswoman Kate Holcomb said. Police said he had 17 stab wounds.
``I think they were just looking out for the girls,″ said Peter Maycock, an English tourist staying at the resort with his wife and two children.
The victims were beaten and stabbed when three local men returned to the beach resort to resume an earlier fight, said Lt. Wade Kirby, a detective with New Smyrna Beach police. The beach resort, Ocean Palms Beach Club, is in this resort town of 18,000 people about 10 miles south of Daytona Beach.
Neil Ryan Kirkland, 20, of Edgewater; Daniel Stephan Osborne, 19, of Edgewater; and Joshua Alan Trull, 17, of New Smyrna Beach had gone to the resort to get back a ring Kirkland gave to a woman he met the night before, Kirby said.
When the men became aggressive with her, the Maryland men stepped in to help her and a fight started, Kirby said.
Police were called, but no one was arrested. Police instead gave out applications to file battery charges with the state attorney’s office.
After the fight, one of the local men warned ``We’ll be back,″ according to Maycock. ``And they were true to their word,″ Maycock said. ``Terrible isn’t it?″
Kirkland, Osborne and Trull went home, rounded up some friends and returned to the resort with bats and knives, Kirby said.
Police made four arrests Friday and were searching for up to three other suspects.
Trull, a student at New Smyrna High School, was charged with two counts of being a principal to first-degree murder; Kirkland was charged with aggravated battery; and Osborne was charged with two counts of being a principal to second-degree murder. Kirkland and Osborne are Daytona Beach Community College students, Kirby said.
Trull’s brother, Jonathan Edward Trull, 27, of New Smyrna Beach, was charged with two counts of first-degree murder. A third brother, Chris Trull, in his mid-20s, was still being sought.
``It’s a senseless tragedy,″ said James Tack, general manager of Ocean Palms. ``They were wonderful boys. They were clean-cut and well-behaved.″