TAMPA, Fla. (970 WFLA) - If you have seen Michael Daniel around the City of Tampa you may not have none his name, but many recognize one of his infamous protest signs bearing a Confederate Flag, a Nazi symbol and derogatory language aimed at African-Americans, including the N-word.
Now Daniel, his sign and his electronic megaphone are the center of yet another court case involving Florida’s controversial “Stand Your Ground” law and two women who confronted him on July 13th on the corner of South Hyde Park Boulevard and Kennedy Boulevard.
What led up to Daniel ultimately being arrested first on a felony aggravated battery charge, then being later charged by the Hillsborough County State Attorney’s Office for two misdemeanor battery charges is up for debate.
Daniel’s defense attorney, Assistant Public Defender Rocky Broncato, has now filed a Motion to Dismiss the charges, arguing that Daniel is immune from being prosecuted under the “Stand Your Ground” law which is part of the larger umbrella of self-defense laws in the Florida.
The motion includes still photos from surveillance and cell phone video detailing the moments that 41-year-old Rowshana Tukes and her 19-year-old daughter, Nayvia, who first saw Daniel and his sign, along with his wife, Rosanna, who was standing nearby, pulled over and confronted him.
According to the motion, the two women began demanding Daniel explain what his sign means as they reportedly found it offensive. Daniel was already involved in a conversation with another man who says he was Canadian but had Jamaican roots who was discussing the sign with him.
The motion goes on to say that Nayvia hits Daniel’s sign and has to be restrained by her mother several more times as she continues to confront Daniel.
According to the arrest report filed by the Tampa Police Department, the argument between the three escalated when Nayvia Tukes slaps Daniel’s sign again. That’s when officers say Daniel’s strikes back, hitting Nayvia in the head with his megaphone. Nayvia’s mother, Rowshana, reportedly punches Daniel in the right eye with a closed fist according to the affidavit.
That’s where Daniel’s “Stand Your Ground” claims may or may not end when and if a judge hears the motion.
Video shot by a bystander shows what is documented in the arrest affidavit show, as Daniel follows Rowshana Tukes as she goes back to her car, then pins her against her car, striking her several more times with the megaphone.
Prosecutors will likely argue that the perceived threat of violence, in other words a further attack by Rowshana Tukes after being punched the first time, was over once she retreated to her car. Daniel’s claims in his motion to dismiss that he was still in a position to defend himself from both women, fearing that one, if not both of them, was going to retrieve a weapon and come back after him.
The confrontation continues even as bystanders separate Daniel from the women and even involves Nayvia at one point leaving in a Blue Mustang before returning minutes later
This goes on for approximately 15 minutes in total according to Daniel’s motion when a Tampa Police Officer finally arrives on scene.
For now, Hillsborough County Judge Scott Farr is expected to schedule the immunity hearing where prosecutors will have the burden of proving that Daniel was not justified in using or claiming self-defense before Farr decides if the case will be dismissed or go to trial.