Florida man threatened people 3 different times before shooting man in latest ‘stand your ground’ case
(CNN) — The man charged with manslaughter after shooting another man in a Clearwater, Florida, convenience store parking lot, has a history of threatening drivers, according to documents from the Pinellas County Circuit Court.
Michael Drejka, 47, fatally shot Markeis McGlockton in July after McGlockton shoved him to the ground during a dispute over a handicapped-accessible spot. Drejka claimed he feared for his life and said he fired in self-defense. Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri previously said Florida’s “stand your ground” laws prevented him from arresting Drejka.
Drejka was ultimately charged and will make his first appearance in court Tuesday afternoon. CNN has tried contacting Drejka multiple times, but has not heard back and it was not clear whether he has an attorney.
Court documents show that the July incident wasn’t the first time Drejka aggressively confronted drivers over parking spots or what he perceived to be traffic infractions.
A truck driver parked in a handicapped-accessible spot
About three months ago, Richard Kelly told a Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office detective he was confronted by Drejka at Circle A Food Store, the same store where he shot McGlockton. Drejka, documents said, was upset because Kelly parked in a handicapped-accessible spot. The exchange between the two became very loud and Kelly said at some point during the argument Drejka told him he was going to shoot him, documents said.
Drejka then went to his car and was rummaging around the center console, but documents said Kelly drove away. Drejka, Kelly said, also threw racial slurs at him. Kelly is black and Drejka is white.
Court documents said Drejka wanted to voice his complaint to Kelly’s employer, AA Cut-Rate Septic Tank Service, so he spoke to the owner, John Tyler. Drejka told the business owner he was lucky he didn’t blow his employee’s head off, documents said.
A woman drove too slow through a school zone
On December 12, 2012, a woman told a Largo Police Department officer that a man driving a black Toyota truck, later identified as Drejka, pointed a gun at her and the passengers in the vehicle.
The woman pointed out the truck to the officer. The officer spoke with Drejka, documents said, and he told the officer the woman was driving too slow through a school zone.
Drejka denied pointing a gun at the occupants of the car, documents said, but he did have a gun in his vehicle. Drejka told the officer, according to a review of the police reports by the Tampa Bay Times, that he honked at the people in the other car, and that the people in the car made rude hand gestures at him.
A teen didn’t drive through a yellow light
On January 10, 2012, Tyler Smith, 18, was driving with a friend when a traffic light turned yellow. Smith decided not to drive through the light and stopped his vehicle.
A truck, driven by Drejka, was behind Smith. Drejka honked his horn, documents said, and yelled at Smith. Drejka held a black handgun out the driver’s side window of his vehicle and motioned for Smith to walk back to his truck, documents said. Drejka then followed the teen’s vehicle, passed it and slammed on his breaks, the Tampa Bay Times reported.
The teens did not press charges, documents said.
When officers confronted Drejka about the incident, he said the teen’s car cut him off, the Tampa Bay Times reported. He said he neither followed the teen’s car nor did he show his gun, but did admit to having one in his vehicle.