NEW PORT RICHEY, Fla. -- John Collins says his neighbor, a 90-year-old grandfather, survived being trapped in his car for days by eating cake, cookies, and empty ice cream cones.
Collins and Carl Frantz feel terrible they didn't notice Justyn Ambrozia sooner. Ambrozia's nickname is "Jay." They say he'd returned home from a quick trip to the grocery store last week but couldn't get out of his car.
Frantz says he had tears in his eyes when he did finally see his friend in distress. "Because I always watched out for him and then, when something happened, I wasn't there to help him."
Collins says Ambrozia told him it all started when a quick trip to the grocery store went bad. Collins says, "There was something on the floor that he tripped on ... he says he grabbed for the shelf and the shelf let loose, and when he went to the floor he broke his arm. He broke his hip."
Collins says the grocery store helped Jay up and then helped him right out the front door, possibly in a wheelchair, he says. He says store workers should have called paramedics immediately. "Put him in the car with his groceries. They should have called. They shouldn't have touched him."
Somehow, though, Ambrozia managed to drive himself the short distance to his home and he even backed into his garage. Collins says Ambrozia told him that once he backed in he couldn't get out of the car.
Days passed. Ambrozia says he blew his horn and hollered, but no one heard his cries for help.
Frantz remembers the garage door being nearly all the way down while Collins remembers it being all the way up. Either way, another neighbor walking by finally noticed Ambrozia and "Scooter," a dog who lives next door, sensed something was wrong around the same time. By then, Frantz and Collins and several other neighbors rushed over and one called 911.
Collins says when he first caught a glimpse of Ambrozia, all he could see was his head peering over the steering wheel and he says he was slumped down low in the front seat.
Frantz adds, "When they picked him up and put him on the gurney, he was scrunched all up in a knot."
Ambrozia had to undergo surgery at Medical Center for Trinity for his hip. A neighbor says he was sedated and resting Monday night. Ambrozia turned down a request for an interview Monday evening.
WTSP spoke with the manager of the nearby grocery store where Ambrozia was reportedly shopping. The manager referred WTSP to a media and community relations manager who was not available Monday evening.