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Sunday, January 16, 2022

Hit-and-run suspect enters plea in crash that injured Villages bicyclist

William Joseph Croop Jr.

A hit-and-run suspect has entered a plea in connection with a crash that injured a bicyclist in The Villages.

William Joseph Croop Jr., 59, of Orange Springs, last week in Sumter County Court pleaded not guilty in the case. He is being represented by the public defender’s office. He continues to be held without bond.

Croop is charged with being at the wheel of silver Jaguar on the morning of Nov. 3 when the vehicle struck 61-year-old Ken Nevers of the Village of Fenney. He had been bicycling in the multi-modal lane on Hillsborough Trail near the Manatee Recreation Center when he suffered severe head trauma including memory loss, bruised lungs, a broken rib and a fractured shoulder along with lacerations on his face and head after being hit by the vehicle.

In addition to the hit-and-run charge, a number of traffic citations have also been issued to Croop. They are for charges of improper passing, careless driving and no proof of insurance.

Croop was arrested after a tip led to 3089 Glenwood Place in the Village of Glenbrook. A woman who lives there and has a history of drug arrests provided additional information which led to Croop’s apprehension, six days after the bicyclist had been struck.

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