April 19--FORT MYERS -- When Kristee Barres saw anything unseemly on her Fort Myers street, she acted on it.
"She can't stand to see someone bullied. She's very outspoken about the less desirable people in the neighborhood," said Glenn Barres, the grandfather of Kristee's two children.
So it was Thursday morning, when Kristee Barres, en route to her 13-year-old daughter's school along with her 3-year-old son and fiancé's mother, spotted two men fighting. Kristee Barres ran to break up the scuffle, Lee County deputies said, prompting an enraged man to get in his PT Cruiser, smash into her with the front of his car and throw it in reverse, running over her future mother-in-law, Lorraine McDaniel.
The collisions left McDaniel fighting for her life with several injuries -- internal bleeding, a collapsed lung, a punctured lung, a broken pelvis, four broken ribs -- and Kristee Barres blind in one eye with limited sight in the other, Glenn Barres. While the women recovered at Lee Memorial Hospital on Friday, Eric Noel Montez, 28, sat in a Lee County jail on $252,500 bond, facing two attempted murder charges.
Kristee Barres, 33, was stable, but McDaniel, 52, took a grim turn Friday evening when she started bleeding internally, Glenn Barres said.
"Lorraine, she's in for a very long haul," Glenn Barres said.
Investigators said the violence escalated quickly at about 8:40 a.m. Thursday on Kingston Drive, a street populated with small, unkempt houses less than a mile west of Interstate 75 and Palm Beach Boulevard.
It started when Montez, driving his 2006 white Chrysler PT Cruiser, nearly hit a jogger, causing the jogger to tap on the passenger side of Montez's car, according to an arrest report. Montez then got out of his car, ran about 100 feet and started assaulting the jogger, the report said.
Barres and McDaniel, who had stopped at a nearby 7-Eleven, witnessed the beating and ran to help, shouting they were calling the police, investigators said. After exchanging profanities, Montez returned to his car, backed up, then drove forward, intentionally hitting Barres and tossing her over the vehicle's hood, deputies said. McDaniel chased Montez's car on foot until Montez threw the car in reverse, running her over, deputies said.
Barres' teenage daughter and young son witnessed the entire sequence, traumatizing the children, Glenn Barres said.
"(My granddaughter) ended up covered with blood in her school uniform," Glenn Barres said. "The worst part about the whole thing is she says she can't close her eyes without seeing her mother flying through the air."
Investigators said Montez left the scene and dropped off his 7-year-old daughter, who was in the PT Cruiser, at the family's home. He then returned to the scene and was arrested, deputies said.
Montez lives one block east and five blocks south of the women. The collisions occurred about a half-mile from their homes.
A woman who answered the door at Montez's home declined to comment. He didn't have a lawyer listed in online records. His account of the events is redacted from Sheriff's Office records.
Montez has no history of violent crime in Southwest Florida, though he received a nine-month jail sentence in Collier County in 2010 for a violating probation on a firearms charge.
Glenn Barres said he's remained close through the years with Kristee Barres, who is his son's ex-wife, describing her as "like an adopted daughter." Despite enduring a difficult childhood, Kristee Barres was "very, very caring," focusing primarily on caring for her children, Glenn Barres said. He knew less about McDaniel, saying he believed she worked as a Waffle House waitress.
Glenn Barres said a donation account benefiting the two women has been set up at Fifth Third Bank in the name of Sheila Barres. The account number is 9904037489.
"They don't have any health insurance," he said, "and they don't know how they're going to pay for this."
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