Riverview woman stands her ground, kills attacker

Daniel Robertson, 56, and his former girlfriend, Cristy Vasilakos, 40, shared an apartment at Grand Oaks Apartments. Kevin Brady Photo

Daniel Robertson, 56, and his former girlfriend, Cristy Vasilakos, 40, shared an apartment at Grand Oaks Apartments. Kevin Brady Photo

By KEVIN BRADY

No charges have been filed against a Riverview woman who shot and killed a man who attacked her outside her home.

Daniel Robertson, 56, of Riverview, broke down the door of his former girlfriend, Cristy Vasilakos, 40, Aug. 17 and attacked her with a metal object, according to witnesses.

Vasilakos had reportedly kicked Robertson out of the apartment they shared early Saturday morning after he became drunk and abusive.

Vickie Rock, 50, who lives in the apartment next door, heard Vasilakos screaming, lifted her own gun and tried to intervene, according to a report by the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office.

Seeing her neighbor pummeled on the sidewalk, Rock screamed for Robertson to stop. He then turned his attention on Rock, hitting her in the face multiple times with the metal object. Rock then opened fire and killed Robertson, deputies said.

Both women were badly bruised in the incident that took place at the Grand Oaks Apartments on Sherwood Lane in Riverview. (The complex was previously known as Sherwood Forest Apartments.)
Sheriff’s office spokesperson Larry McKinnon said Rock had been released from custody Aug. 17 and that no charges would be filed that day.

The case is in the hands of the State Attorney’s Office but no charges have been filed against Rock.

Records show Robertson had been arrested seven times between 1997 and 2006 on charges ranging from driving on a suspended license to possession of drug paraphernalia.

A 911 call at 6 a.m. Saturday morning sent deputies to the scene where they found Robertson’s body and “two female victims with facial injuries that were apparently sustained from the male prior to him being shot,” according to McKinnon’s report.

A preliminary report on the incident indicated:
• Robertson appeared to have forced his way into the residence, causing “heavy damage” to the front window and door.

• Rock, who was visiting her boyfriend next door, heard “the glass and door breaking as well as screaming” and left the apartment; she was in “armed with a 45-caliber handgun.”

• Rock reportedly witnessed Robertson “beating a woman with a metal object while outside on the sidewalk” and yelled at him to stop.

• Robertson in turn attacked Rock, who suffered “multiple facial injuries before firing at least one round” from her handgun.

• Robertson was struck and reportedly staggered away from the scene. Deputies found him dead in the parking lot.

The case could well fall under Florida’s controversial “stand your ground” law. The statute allows the use of lethal force if someone believes his or her life is in danger.

The law has been in the national spotlight since George Zimmerman was acquitted last month of second-degree murder in the killing of Trayvon Martin. Zimmerman was acquitted in July with a traditional self-defense argument, but jury instructions included the language of the “Stand Your Ground” law.

A 31-day sit-in protest at the Florida legislature ended last week after failing to force a special legislative session regarding the law.

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