• Ex-NFL player from Atlanta Falcons run down after yelling at speeding driver

    Atlanta Falcons

A former professional football player was run down and critically injured after he yelled at a speeding driver in a mall parking lot, authorities said Friday.

The 41-year-old victim in Thursday night’s incident played for the Atlanta Falcons but authorities were not yet releasing his name, said Jim Amormino, a spokesman for the Orange County Sheriff’s Department.

 A Falcons’ spokesman did not immediately return a telephone message from The Associated Press Friday morning.

The victim and two friends walked out of a restaurant in a busy outdoor mall around 11:30 p.m. when they saw a silver or light blue BMW sedan with two or three young men inside speed by and blow through a stop sign, Amormino said. The victim yelled at the driver to slow down, he said.

The driver sped erratically through the parking lot, collided with a parked Mercedes Benz, then turned around and sped toward the victim and his friends, Amormino said. The victim again yelled at the driver to slow down right before the motorist ran him down as he walked toward his friend’s Ford F-150 pickup truck, he said.

"It was an intentional act," Amormino said. "We believe the dispute started because the suspects were driving at a high rate of speed in the shopping center."

The victim, who has three children, was in extremely critical condition with massive head injuries and was undergoing surgery at a local hospital, Amormino said.

The driver of the BMW fled the scene, he said. Authorities believe the front end of the car was damaged.

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