Nicholas Armand Roberti

Nicholas Armand Roberti

A 79-year-old Homosassa man faces burglary with battery charges after he was accused of punching a driver through an open car window after an accident involving the two of them.

A Florida Highway Patrol trooper was patrolling U.S. 19 Wednesday, Feb. 17, when at 11:43 a.m. he came across a crash just south of West Venable Street in Crystal River.

The trooper approached one of the two vehicles involved in the crash, a white Dodge Caravan, and a man on the driver’s side making a 911 call, according to arrest records.

That’s about the time the trooper saw Nicholas Armand Roberti, 79, approach the Dodge and accuse the driver of being drunk and start arguing with the driver still sitting in his car. The trooper ordered Roberti back to his Red Mazda.

The victim told the trooper that Roberti had rammed his Dodge from the side, and after the accident he came over to his vehicle and while the driver was still in his car, Roberti punched him in the arm. The trooper reported seeing blood on the victim’s forearm, according to the arrest report.

The trooper also reported the victim had taken photographs of the incident and showed them to the trooper

When the trooper asked Roberti what happened, the Homosassa man gave a different account, according to his arrest report.

Roberti said the victim hit his car and when he went to see the Dodge driver, the driver hit him in the shoulder and he hit him back in self defense, according to his arrest report.

But an independent witness told a second investigating trooper that she saw Roberti throw a punch into the Dodge at the driver, according to the arrest report.

The arresting trooper reported that given the damages to the vehicles, the photos, the injury to the victim’s arm and the witness’ statement, he concluded Roberti was at fault and hit the victim. The trooper arrested Roberti and took him to the Citrus County jail. His bond was $25,000.  

Contact Chronicle reporter Fred Hiers at fred.hiers@chronicleonline.com or 352-397-5914.