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Florida Fund, Donations to Aid Victim in Tourist-Torching Case

September 18, 1993|From Reuters

TAMPA, Fla. — The state of Florida and local residents are making contributions toward paying some of the medical expenses of the black man set afire on New Year's Day by a two whites near Tampa.

The Florida attorney general's office announced Friday that Christopher Wilson will receive $10,000, probably by Monday, from the Florida Crime Victim's Assistance Fund. The amount is the maximum grant allowed under state law.

The Hillsborough County Commission established a bank account Thursday to collect donations for Wilson. The account, at NationsBank, was opened with two $1,000 checks, one from a Tampa-based law firm and the other from the bank.

Two men were convicted last week of dousing Wilson with gasoline and setting him on fire as they taunted him with racist insults. A third man pleaded guilty in the attack.

Wilson, whose medical insurance did not cover hospitalization, spent almost a month at Tampa General Hospital's burn unit after being burned over 40% of his body.

Hospital spokeswoman Cindy Tanner said Wilson's treatment in Tampa alone cost about $81,000.

Wilson has returned to his mother's home in New York for more treatment and skin grafts. He has not been able to return to his job as a clerk at a stock brokerage.

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