Punch at a bar. Car chase in a parking lot. Wild night in the Keys ends with 3 arrests

A Keys man was arrested early Friday after police said he tried to run over two men in the parking lot of the Marathon Kmart after they clashed at a nearby bar.

Nicholas Michael Jones, 22, of Marathon, was arrested on two charges of aggravated battery using a deadly weapon after witnesses told police he came at them in his Mitsubishi Eclipse, striking one of them.

One witness said, “It appeared Nicholas was trying to murder them with his vehicle,” according to the arrest report by the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office.

The other two men, though, didn’t get away without racking up charges of their own.

Ian Hildebrand, 32, of Key Largo, was arrested on felony charges of weapons offense and criminal damage. He was struck by the Eclipse and complained of back pain, police said.

William E. Cobaugh, 49, of Duck Key, was arrested on charges of misdemeanor battery and felony charges of weapons offense and criminal damage.

Cobaugh is accused of starting it all by shoving and punching Jones at about 1 a.m. inside the Brass Monkey bar and, along with Hildebrand, was also busted for allegedly throwing rocks at the Eclipse while Jones was behind the wheel.

Jones had gone to the bar to meet his girlfriend, who wanted to introduce him to her friend, Cobaugh, police said.

Cobaugh had a different version: He said the two were not dating any longer and that Jones was harassing the woman, so he didn’t want to “take a chance,” and threw a punch to Jones’s face.

Jones said he left the bar because he didn’t want to fight, but Cobaugh and Hildebrand started following him as he drove away. He said he wasn’t trying to run them over but merely trying to get away from them.

Jones said that Hildebrand was running around 55th Street by a Tom Thumb store before the altercation “showing his genitalia to the public,” and then chasing him.

Cobaugh said he and Hildebrand left the bar in a Nissan and Jones began chasing them in his car. A witness saw Jones doing “doughnuts” in the parking lot of the Kmart while trying to run over the two men, deputies reported. Only after they were chased by the car did the two men throw rocks, the witness said.

“I was sitting in my car watching everything and how fast it got out of control,” the witness said