“I’m recovering. A little bit of pain yet, but I’m starting to get a little bit better,” Neff told The Press from his home Thursday.
“I’ve had three stab wounds. One was in the back of the shoulder. One was a deep cut down to the bone of my triceps, about six inches long. The other was a stab to the palm of my hand underneath my thumb — that little, cushy part there.
“I have a sling, and it’s all bandaged, stapled, and stitched. It’s a lot of (stitches) because they had to stitch it up in three different layers.”
Neff had just finished a weight-training session and was driving to his business, Advanced Retirement Solutions at 27493 Holiday Lane, when the incident broke out.
“I was coming from Lake High School,” Neff said. “I weight train the Lake High School soccer team now. I had one more appointment at my office at 7 o’clock, and I was going to change back into my work clothes back at the office there. So I was in shorts and a t-shirt and tennis shoes.”
Neff said he was driving his Chevrolet Suburban around a cul-de-sac in front of Holiday Park Fitness Center.
“I was coming around (the cul-de-sac), and sometimes people coming out of the Holiday Park Fitness Center (now closed), or people coming from that general direction — sometimes they pull out even if they see a car coming like they have the right-of-way coming from the parking lot to the road,” Neff alleged.
“I could tell coming around the circle that this guy didn’t look like he was going to stop. So as I got close and he got close, I honked my horn and stopped my vehicle. He reluctantly stopped, and we both luckily stopped in time so we didn’t hit each other,” Neff continued.
“Then he honked his horn at me and flipped me off. So then I rolled down my window and just told the guy, ‘Look, you don’t have the right-of-way. I’ve got the right-of-way,’ and he immediately went off, called me names, just being loud, and I pulled up the window, I opened the door, and stepped out of my vehicle.
“He pulled in front of me then and passed me, and I thought he was just going to keep going. Then he stopped his vehicle, rolled down his window, and started yelling at me again and he called me a (expletive deleted).
“When he did that, I said, ‘Well, if I’m a (expletive deleted), then get out of the car.’ He got out of the car, and as soon as he did, I took my watch off and dropped it in the median there in the grass, and he came up to me and shoved me backwards.
“I came back in and tackled him. I was on top of him. I hit him in the head and face with my fist. As I did so, I hit him a few times and I figured enough is enough and I stand up and was going to tell him, ‘Just get in your car and go.’
“As I stood up, all of a sudden I feel this warm rush, and its blood just dripping all over me. I never felt him stab me, I never actually saw the knife itself or whatever it was he used. Apparently, the cops found it, but I never saw it or anything like that. Then I just looked at him and I was like, ‘Dude, you stabbed me? Are you kidding me?’ It ended up that he jumped in his vehicle, and he said, ‘That’s what you get.’”
The Perrysburg Township police reported that the suspect had left the area and there was no vehicle description or direction of travel. But Neff said he wrote down the license number as the suspect drove away.
“There was no front plate on his vehicle so I went around to the back of his vehicle so I could get the license plate number so I could get the cops a description and stuff, which I did later,” Neff said.
“It’s really weird. That’s kind of the unique part of the story is trying to track down a rental car and who is in it. Apparently, that can be a problem sometimes. In fact, they need to do something about it. It wasn’t the cops. The cops were all over, but that was the difficulty was finding out who rented the vehicle.”
Township patrolmen arriving at the scene found Genoa resident Joseph Clement applying pressure to Neff’s injuries with a towel. Township paramedics soon joined in.
Patrolman Robert Weber approached Neff to get a statement, and noticed “a large amount of blood on Holiday Lane that led through the parking lot to the door of the building.” Another patrolman found the suspect’s glasses and Neff’s watch in the grass.
According to police, they found and arrested Jeffrey Hardeman of Knoxville, Tennessee and charged with him with felonious assault about three-and-a-half hours later. Hardeman is being held in Wood County jail in lieu of $50,000 bond.
Neff was treated and released at St. Vincent’s Mercy Hospital. He said he would spend the rest of the week at home recovering, but hopes to return to normal business operations Monday.
He also expects to continue his political commentary on WTVG-TV Channel 13’s “Conklin and Company,” hosted by Ed Conklin, along with “The Troy Neff Show,” broadcast weekdays from 6-10 a.m. on WCWA-AM 1230. Neff also writes a weekly column for The Toledo Free Press.
“If Lee will have me, I expect to be recording tomorrow night at 7 o’clock and I expect to be back on the radio on Monday,” Neff said.
Neff said he is not yet considering a civil suit.
“It’s not something I’ve really thought about,” Neff said. “My thing right now is just cooperate with the police. I talked with them at the scene the best I could as the paramedics were caring for me. A female detective came to the hospital and I answered her questions, too.
“I expect they’ll want to talk to me again, and I’ll cooperate with the police so they have the information that they can pass along to the prosecutors so they can all do their job.”