A 66-year-old Ocala man was arrested after he allegedly attacked a man with a baseball bat to avenge a 15-year-old sexual battery accusation.
Ernest Vito Nicholas, of 3900 SE 44th St., was charged with aggravated battery with a deadly weapon after the incident, which happened around 7:25 p.m. Tuesday at the victim’s residence on South U.S. Highway 441.
The victim told a Marion County sheriff’s deputy that Nicholas arrived at his home and started banging on his door. He said when he opened it, Nicholas said, “Why don’t you step outside?” The victim said as he stepped outside, Nicholas struck him on the left side of his body with the bat, according to the sheriff’s office report.
The victim said he and Nicholas struggled over the bat and he was able to gain control over it, and Nicholas left the incident location and returned to his residence. The deputy observed visible bruising on the victim’s let side, the report said.
The victim’s roommate told the deputy heard Nicholas banging on the door and a struggle ensuing. He said he missed the first part of the altercation but did see Nicholas over top of the victim and the two men struggling over the baseball bat in the carport, according to the report.
Contacted at his residence, Nicholas said he took a bat to the victim’s home in case he needed to defend himself. He said a struggle ensued but his memory of striking the victim with the bat was blurry, the report said.
While investigating the incident, the deputy learned Nicholas was made aware about four weeks ago of an alleged sexual battery that happened about 15 years ago, in which (name redacted) was sexually battered when he was about 8 or 9 years old. Nicholas said he felt he was obligated to go to the victim’s home to “defend (name redacted)’s honor like men,” according to the report.
Nicholas was taken to the Marion County Jail, where he was released Thursday on $2,000 bond. He is due to appear in Marion County Court on Oct. 20.