Florida Man Who Claimed 'Stand Your Ground' Defense Is Charged

The Florida man who used the "stand your ground" defense to justify shooting a man over a parking spot was arrested.

Clearwater, FL A Florida man who used the stand your ground defense has been charged with manslaughter following weeks of protests from the community.

Police arrested 47-year-old Michael Drejka last Monday morning and charged him with manslaughter in the July 19 fatal shooting of Markeis McGlockton, according to ABC News.

Initially, Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri said the shooting was within the bookends of stand your ground and within the bookends of force being justified, and Drejka was not charged, the Tampa Bay Times reporters.

But Pinellas County States Attorney Bernie McCabe disagreed, and charged Drejka on Aug. 13 after he received reports on the case from the Pinellas County Sheriffs Office.

The shooting occurred in the parking lot of the Circle A convenience store after Drejka approached Britany Jacobs aggressively about parking her car in a handicapped space, ABC News reported.

Drejka circled Jacobs car looking for a handicap decal and when he found none, he began lecturing Roberts about the states parking regulations through her car window.

Jacobs said that the dispute became so intensified that it drew the attention of patrons in the store.

He wanted somebody to be angry at. He just wanted someone to fight him, Roberts said. He was picking a fight. Im just sitting, waiting for my family to come back to the car.

Surveillance video showed the physical altercation began when Roberts boyfriend, McGlockton, came out of the store and saw Drejka arguing with his girlfriend.

The video showed the McGlockton exited the store, saw what was going on, and stormed up to Drejka and shoved him hard.

Drejka flew backwards several feet and landed on the pavement. He then pulled a handgun and pointed it at McGlockton, the video showed.

Drejka owned the gun legally and had a concealed carry permit, the Tampa Bay Times reported.

The video showed that several seconds later, while still on the ground, Drejka fatally shot McGlockton as his five-year-old son watched.

Sheriff Gualtieri said Drejka told police he was in fear of being attacked again.

"Our job and our role is not to substitute our judgment for the law and what the Legislature has crafted as the framework," Sheriff Gualtieri said, according to the Tampa Bay Times, "but to enforce it equally and fairly as were required to do."

But after an investigation by the sheriffs department, and weeks of protests by the family and friends of McGlockton, the McCabes office intervened and brought charges against Drejka.

McCabe said Drejka was not protected under stand your ground in the incident and said the charges against him were "consistent with the decision-making process established under Florida law in this case, according to ABC News.

"I support the State Attorney's decision and will have no further comment as the case continues to work its way through the criminal justice system," Sheriff Gualtieri said in a statement, according to ABC News.

Further investigation had revealed that Drejka was a regular at the Circle A store and had a history of taking issue with people who parked in handicap spots illegally, according to the Washington Post.

McGlockton wasnt the first person that Drejka had a run-in with at the same convenience store over a parking spot.

Rick Kelly told the Tampa Bay Times he stopped at the Circle A and parked in a handicap spot a few months earlier, and Drejka confronted him.

When the incident escalated, Kelly said Drejka threatened to shoot him, according to the Tampa Bay Times.

"Its a repeat. It happened to me the first time. The second time its happening, someones life got taken," Kelly said, according to the Tampa Bay Times. "He provoked that."

Drejka was booked into the Pinellas County Jail and his bond was set at $100,000.

Comments
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THEDUKE
THEDUKE

to Just my Thoughts- you sound like a rational, law abiding ,respectful person. Thank you for doing so. Unfortunately you are applying your own reasonable and logical views towards someone who is illogical ,uneducated and immature (IE- he could have easily displayed the placard as soon as he parked as I'm sure he knew perfectly well to do just that) , who has little respect for himself or others (IE he was immediately using profane language, displayed immediate outrage, began bullying), who looks for ways to exert his own self imagined "persecuted" life on another he can easily vent his frustrations to ( IE- this was no accident. He was waiting for someone just like you to "challenge" him so he could "get back" and "show you" he wont be challenged). You are also expecting the same level of maturity you yourself possess to be demonstrated by someone like him ( quote "...anyone has to do is acknowledge they did something wrong and move on, not take an aggressive stance and become verbally abusive or physically come at someone"). Although you are correct you wont likely see that from one who may feel he is entitled because of race, sees the non-black world as "the enemy", equates your questioning as being "racist", may adhere to a pitiful and dysfunctional culture, blames everyone but himself for his own misfortunes and misgivings ,etc. ....... You can try avoidance altogether and realize you may face similar ....or.... if are truly seeking interaction with others like him you will need to alter your communication style and bring your level of logic and verbal interaction down to his level. Perception -its all in the eyes of the of the viewer.

Ligoon01
Ligoon01

He was asking for trouble for sure. He was all brave while he was bullying the girl but soon as her boyfriend came to her rescue he was all afraid? The article said nothing to indicate the boyfriend was advancing towards him, said he was pushed to the ground and pulled the gun. No grounds for stand your ground here. Parking in the handicapped space is wrong but not should cost someone their life.

Katarina
Katarina

@angeleyes Would you also be OK with being pushed to the ground and being advanced on further after being verbal about a parking spot? Because the pusher was advancing on him up until he saw him drawing the weapon. We can all say he shouldn't have shot because we are safe behind our keyboards. I know if it were me that had been pushed that hard and the guy that size stepped toward me after I was down, I would be terrified of what he might do next.

DocRyder
DocRyder

Nonsense, the guy was backing away when shot and never gave any indication of further advance. He was protecting his GF from this lunatic. Guilty, Your Honor. 1st degree murder.

DocRyder
DocRyder

I agree with the DA. This was not a justified shooting. In fact, probably pre-meditated as the guy probably went looking for an excuse.