An Ocala man with a violent history was arrested after he allegedly tackled his roommate from behind, possibly breaking his leg, during an argument over money.
Mark Reginald Strozier, 46, was charged with simple battery and possession of drug equipment after the incident, which happened Monday evening outside their residence on West Highway 326. Strozier has been arrested a half-dozen times since 2019, including once after being caught hiding under a desk at a veterinary clinic and another time for fighting with a store clerk over a bottle of beer.
A Marion County sheriff’s deputy responded to the incident location and found the victim sitting in a chair outside, being treated by medics for a possible broken leg. The victim said he and Strozier had exchanged some words and he was walking away when Strozier “tackled” him from behind, according to the sheriff’s office report.
Three other people at the scene denied seeing anything happen. One witness said he could hear something going on outside his room and when he came outside, he saw the victim on the ground injured. He said Strozier was there, too, and is known to be aggressive because he has “PTSD,” the report said.
Before being patted down and taken into custody, Strozier spontaneously said he had something on him. He said he had a “stem” and it was in his back-right pocket. A stem is a glass pipe used to smoke illegal narcotics. The deputy retrieved the pipe, which later tested positive for cocaine residue, according to the report.
After being read his Miranda warning, Strozier said he and the victim exchanged words over money. He said he “locked up” with the victim and when the victim tried to get away, he threw him on the ground. Strozier said it was horseplay at first and he didn’t intend to break the victim’s leg. He said he uses the glass pipe to smoke marijuana and crack mixed together, the report said.
Strozier was taken to the Marion County Jail, where he was being held Thursday on $2,000 bond. He will appear in Marion County Court on March 3.