Ocala man behind bars after victim reports nasty attack and stolen vehicle

Michael Costa

An Ocala man found himself behind bars Sunday after a nasty scuffle that involved punches and a stolen vehicle.

Marion County Sheriff’s deputies were called to a home on Fir Trail Way early Sunday morning and when they arrived, the victim told them he had been in an altercation with 33-year-old Michael Costa. The victim said it started as a verbal altercation in the driveway but quickly turned physical, a sheriff’s office report states.

The victim claimed that Costa grabbed him by the neck, threw him into some bushes and punched him in the rib cage on his right side with a closed fist. He claimed that Costa then reached into the right pocket of his shorts, took his car keys and drove off in his 2006 BMW X3, the report says.

The victim, who was bleeding from scratch marks on his right arm, said his vehicle was valued at $10,031. He said he didn’t give Costa permission to drive the SUV. And he said Costa has never driven the vehicle in the past, the report says.

Costa returned to his residence a few hours later and was taken into custody. He refused to speak with deputies about the incident and was transported to the Marion County Jail and charged with robbery (no firearm or weapon), grand theft of a motor vehicle and battery.

He is being held on $12,000 bond and is due in court Sept. 10 at 9 a.m. to answer to the charges.