A 40-year-old Dunnellon man is accused of striking his 66-year-old sister and intimidating her with a chair, hitting a girl who tried to intervene, and then taking the phone away from his sister when she tried to call 911.
The victim told a Marion County sheriff’s deputy that the recent incident started when she confronted Ronald Viera about giving her social security check to an unidentified woman who lives in New York. She said Viera picked up a dining room chair to intimidate her but never hit her with it, according to the sheriff’s office report.
The victim said when she stood up from the dining room table, Viera approached her in an aggressive manner and struck her on the right shoulder. The victim said her juvenile niece tried to intervene, and Viera reached over the victim and struck the girl on the top of her head, the report said.
The victim said when she tried to call 911, Viera grabbed her phone and threw it on the ground to keep her from getting emergency assistance. She said when she picked up the phone, Viera tried to take it away from her again, according to the report.
The juvenile victim told the deputy she heard an argument and came out of her bedroom to see what was happening. She said she saw Viera in the victim’s face and yelling, and she tried to intervene to keep the victim from being struck. The juvenile victim said Viera struck her and then fled the residence on foot, the report said.
The deputy observed minor redness on the elderly victim’s right shoulder but did not see any injuries on the juvenile victim’s head, according to the report.
After being read his Miranda warning, Viera admitted he picked up the chair during the argument with the elderly victim because she is always controlling his life, but he put it back down. He said he did not strike either victim. Viera said he took the phone away from the elderly victim because he knew she was calling law enforcement, the report said.
Viera was arrested and charged with aggravated domestic battery on a person 65 years of age or older, child abuse, and tampering with a victim by depriving them from calling law enforcement for emergency assistance. He was taken to the Marion County Jail, where he was being held on $3,000 bond. Viera is due to appear in Marion County Court on Dec. 1.