James Kenneth Bryant Killed By Nicholas Giovinazzi’s Car In Florida

December 24, 2014 | By Garrett Montgomery More

James Kenneth Bryant killed by 27-year-old Nicholas Giovinazzi in the spot where he used to stand dressed as Santa Claus and wave at motorists.

James Kenneth Bryant Killed

James Kenneth Bryant killed on the same road, where he stood and brought cheers to adults and children during the Christmas holiday.

On Monday night at around 9 PM, James Kenneth Bryant, a homeless man, who became a local celebrity in his home state of Florida, was struck by a vehicle.

According to Florida Highway Patrol, Mr Bryant, who had a habit of dressing like Santa Claus, was killed as he was crossing a road on U.S. 19 near Beacon Woods Drive in Hudson.

James Kenneth Bryant was hit by a Toyota Avalon driven by 27-year-old Nicholas Giovinazzi of Wesley Chapel. Charges are pending against Giovinazzi. The kind man was killed on the scene.

According to the police, he was not wearing his Santa suit. When the holiday season began, James Kenneth Bryant would put on a red t-shirt with a joyous Christmas message, matching vest, Santa hat and stand near Beacon Woods Drive, where he would wave at people driving by.

Few days prior to his death, James Kenneth Bryant spoke to local media, explaining why he decided to spread cheers. He said:

“The little kids, they stick their faces in the windows and it brings a tear to your eye.They’re like, ‘Hi Santa!” Little old ladies drop off big batches of homemade cookies.”

In May of 2013, James Kenneth Bryant grabbed headlines after his beloved dog, Handover, a gift from his late wife vanished.

When Floridians heard about Bryant’s dog story, they decided to help, by posting flyers and offered a reward.

Talking about the pet he owned for more than 5 years, he shared:

“Handover is my best friend. He’s my heart and soul. If anybody sees him, please bring him home.”

After three weeks, the two friends were reunited. According to Dan Kolb, a spokesperson for the local transitional housing and substance abuse center, ACTS, Bryant took part in the program and was able to stay clean for more than six months.

But last week, Bryant decided to leave, and it was impossible to contact him. Kolb said:

“He was very outgoing and friendly, but at the same time very mischievous.He tried to be a superstar, but all he was doing was providing for his habit.”

James Kenneth Bryant’s mother, Carol Marich, explained that her son was kind, smart, and has been trying to win the battle over alcoholism; and wanted to get a job. The mourning mom said:

“Jim was always a person that cared about other people, and it’s just a shame.It’s unbelievable to me.”

The headline, “James Kenneth Bryant killed by 27-year-old Nicholas Giovinazzi,” has prompted many to take to Facebook to say, how much they missed his sweet smile as they were driving to work, or dropping their kids to school.


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