Umpire, former NFL player wounded breaking up holdup

DALLAS -- Major-league umpire Steve Palermo and former Miami Dolphins football player Terence Mann were hospitalized Monday after being shot while attempting to stop a robbery outside a restaurant.

Palermo, 41, of Overland Park, Kan., was in fair condition at Parkland Memorial Hospital with a gunshot wound in his lower back.


Mann, a defensive tackle from 1983-86 at Southern Methodist University who was drafted in 1987 by the Dolphins, was shot in the neck. He was in good condition at Presbyterian Hospital.

Another American League umpire, Rich Garcia, had accompanied Palermo to the restaurant but left 30 minutes before the incident.

'He's in a lot of pain,' Garcia said. 'It's not a life threatening situation. But the possiblity of paralysis still exists.

'He has feeling off and on in his feet. When he had pain, at least they knew he had feeling.'

A close friend of Palermo's said doctors were optimistic the umpire would recover, but that they would have to wait a few days to assess the possibility of paralysis.

Four men were arrested in nearby Highland Park after the shooting at 1:30 a.m. Sunday outside Campisi's Egyptian Restaurant, about four miles north of downtown Dallas.


Mann and Palermo were dining separately at the restaurant. Palermo had worked Saturday night's Texas-California game in Arlington.

A bartender who saw the robbery yelled at employees and patrons that a woman was being robbed outside the restaurant, and Palermo, Mann and several others ran the door to help, police said.

Mann chased one of the robbers and wrestled him to the ground. The other two robbers jumped into a waiting car with a driver. A man stepped out of the car and opened fire with a handgun, hitting Palmero and Mann, police said.

The robber that Mann had caught managed to escape and jump into the car, which was stopped later in Highland Park, police said.

Palermo has been an American League umpire since 1977 and is considered one of the best ball-strike umpires in the league.

Mann is a child-care specialist at Buckner Baptist Children's Home in Dallas, a home for troubled and abused children.

The four suspects have been charged in the robbery and shooting.

Kevin Bivens, 21, was charged with two counts of attempted murder and one count of robbery. His bail as been set at $75,000. Gerry Fuller, 26, and Vernon Myers, 20 were each charged with robbery. Fuller's bond was set at $50,000. Myers' bond was set at $25,000. They did not immediately post bond and were jailed.


A 16-year-old juvenile was in custody of juvenile authorities.

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