Three area residents stabbed in fight in Florida

Published 4:45 pm Thursday, July 19, 2007

Three friends went to Florida to for fun and sun on the beach for the Fourth of July holiday but found trouble instead.

Two Pearl River County residents, Daniel Calloway, 18, and Chancellor “Chance” Whitfield, 19, were taken to the hospital for surgery after a run in with an assailant, apparently over a female. Another victim, a minor, was released the same day with minor injuries.

The incident took place on Casino Beach near a fishing pier in Pensacola, said Sgt. Rex Blackburn with the Escambia County Sheriff’s Department.

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Chance Whitfield’s motherTracy Whitfield said the boys went to the area to visit for the holiday since Calloway used to live in the area.

Chance Whitfield said the incident occurred at about 1 a.m. on July 5, as they were hanging out at the beach with some friends. Calloway was hanging out with his girlfriend at a separate place on the beach when he came to tell Whitfield that some guys wanted to fight. A report Blackburn read from stated the female the boys were with got a phone call from the stabbing suspect, later identified as Kevin Holder, 17. The group met up Holder after the phone call. Whitfield said Holder knew the girl that was with the group and Holder became angry that Calloway was with the girl.

Whitfield said he told his friends that he didn’t wish to get into a fight but Calloway said he was going to investigate anyway. Not wanting his friend to go alone, Whitfield said he followed.

“If I wouldn’t have went, he probably would have got killed,” Whitfield said.

Upon meeting with Holder a fight ensued and Calloway was stabbed first, Blackburn said the report stated. When Whitfield tried to intervene, he was stabbed, Blackburn said.

Whitfield said when they got to the area where Holder and some other individuals were at, he tried to shake hands to keep the peace and that is when the incident escalated.

“I saw the guy pull out a knife,” Whitfield said.

Tracy Whitfield said her son suffered multiple stab wounds in the incident, in the stomach, the lung and his pancreas. She said the pancreas wound had doctors worried the most.

Currently Chance Whitfield’s health looks good and soon Tracy Whitfield hopes her son will be able to go home soon.

In spite of the police report, Chance Whitfield believes there should be more than one suspect since he heard another of his friends say they were stabbed at about the same time he was stabbed.

“I know for a fact that more than one person (did the stabbing),” Whitfield said.

Holder is in custody and being charged with three counts of aggravated battery with a weapon, Blackburn said.

“We’re hoping they’ll try him as an adult,” Tracy Whitfield said.

Blackburn said Holder is being tried as an adult, and if convicted, he could face up to 30 years in prison for each charge.

An account has been established at Hancock Bank to collect funds for Whitfield’s medical bills.