A Las Vegas couple are still hot under the hood about what they say was a close encounter of the bizarre kind with NASCAR analyst Jeff Hammond.
Curtis and Charmin Kelly were in their car on the third floor of the parking garage at Mandalay Bay at 1 p.m. Dec. 4 when an enraged man dressed in cowboy garb kicked the driver's side of their car, busting the rearview mirror.
In an e-mail to Vegas Confidential, Charmin Kelly said the incident occurred as her husband pulled up to a "T" intersection near the elevators.
"It was NFR (National Finals Rodeo) weekend and busy," she said.
She said her husband had just started to turn slowly when, "out of nowhere," the man appeared and attacked the mirror.
It appeared to the Kellys that the man was with two women, possibly a mother and daughter, she said.
The man "yelled at my husband that we were trying to run him over. "Not so," she said.
"He then pushed the car door into my husband" as he was trying to get out of the car and check the damage, she added.
The cowboy took off running, with Curtis Kelly, 40, racing after him.
"My husband chased him down three floors and up the stairs in the Mandalay Bay parking garage," calling out for security along the way.
The cowboy, she said, "didn't want to get caught."
But security finally intervened and forced the man to fill out the driver's license exchange card.
The card was signed by "Jeff Hammond," who provided his North Carolina street address and driver's license.
"We didn't recognize him or make the name connection until we Googled him," said Charmin Kelly.
She said her husband called the home listed on the card and "spoke with his daughter who confirmed they were there that weekend. She was aware of the incident."
She said Hammond never sent an apology but sent a check for $1,000, which he made out to a body repair shop.
It took more than a month to get the car fixed, and he refused to pay for a rental, she said.
"He needs to take responsibility for his tantrum.
"The worst part is that my 5-year-old son thinks ALL cowboys are bad since Jeff was wearing a cowboy hat and boots during this incident."
Hammond, who has worked for Fox Sports since 2000 as a co-host of the pre-game "Hollywood Hotel," was contacted by text message for comment on Saturday.
A text message was received from his cell phone asking for more details. He did not respond to further text messages or an e-mail that was sent on Friday.
THE SCENE AND HEARD
Roger Thomas, executive vice president of design and development at Wynn Resorts, has been hired to create the official Academy Awards green room for Oscar winners and presenters March 7 at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood. Condé Nast's Architectural Digest chose Thomas to come up with the concept, which will be a nod to the 1930 s, Hollywood's golden era.
Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban, joining two dozen strangers Saturday aboard a Zero Gravity flight. The weightless flight was a Christmas present for Kidman. Zero Gravity Corporation, which runs the flights, is based in The Signature Terminal at McCarran International Airport. Afterward, Urban and Kidman mingled with guests at a post-flight celebration at the Four Seasons at Mandalay Bay. ... "Dancing With the Stars" hunk Gilles Marini, on the red carpet Friday night for the premiere of the CW Network's "Fly Girls" at Lagasse's Stadium at the Palazzo. ... Soap icon Susan Lucci, at Picasso (Bellagio) on Saturday celebrating son Andreas' birthday with a party at 18. ... Cameron Diaz at Charlie Palmer Steak (Four Seasons) on Saturday with a friend.
THE PUNCH LINE
"His (Simon Cowell's) girlfriend is a 36-year-old makeup artist from Afghanistan, and she's now worth more than Afghanistan." -- Jimmy Kimmel, on Cowell's engagement to Mezhgan Hussainy.