screwdriver off the beat

A 59-year-old man and his adult daughter own a house in Deltona, and her boyfriend also lives there.

But, Dad isn’t allowed in the laundry room because he didn’t contribute to paying for the washing machine and dryer.

However, one day in December, Dad decided to do some laundry. Since he doesn’t have a key to the laundry room, he used a screwdriver to remove the doorknob.

Boyfriend told Dad to leave the room, but Dad refused.

Dad “threatened to take the door off the hinges as he was still in possession of a screw driver.”

It was at that point, Dad would later tell a Volusia County sheriff ’s deputy, that Boyfriend “entered the threshold of the laundry room and began slamming the door against [Dad’s] right shoulder.”

Then, Dad said, he and Boyfriend wrestled in the laundry room. Dad said he was still holding the screwdriver he’d used to remove the doorknob, and it “scratched” Boyfriend.

Dad told the sheriff’s deputy “he was injured from the door slamming against his right shoulder,” but the deputy couldn’t see “any redness, swelling, or sign of injury.”

Boyfriend told a different version of events to the lawman.

He said that he and Dad were quarreling over Dad’s unauthorized entry into the laundry room and refusal to leave. Furthermore, he told the deputy, when Boyfriend “approached the doorway of the laundry room,” Dad “responded by intentionally trying to pin [Boyfriend] within the threshold and the door.”

Boyfriend said “he was being ‘squished’ and tried to push the door back to create distance and escape, but [Dad] came from around the door … [and] then intentionally struck [Boyfriend] in the left shoulder area multiple times while holding the screwdriver, causing minor lacerations to his left shoulder.”

The deputy’s report said Boyfriend had “two superficial lacerations to his left shoulder area.”

Dad was arrested on a charge of aggravated battery using a deadly weapon, and was taken to jail. (So the next time my wife asks me to use a screwdriver around the house, I can just say no, because it’s considered a deadly weapon?)

When Dad gets out of jail, does he still get to live in the house he co-owns with his daughter (assuming that Boyfriend is still living there)? If so, maybe his daughter and her boyfriend should just charge Dad a fee to use the laundry room. Why not?

— By Keith Allen, based on local police-agency reports. If you have information about a crime, call Crime Stoppers, 1-888-277-TIPS. You could be eligible for a reward.


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