TAMPA (FOX 13) - A dispute over a handicap parking spot in Clearwater has sparked fierce debate about Florida’s Stand Your Ground law.
Defense Attorney Rick Escobar is now weighing in.
“You can’t play Monday morning quarterback with these cases. You have to sit in the shoes on the person that's being attacked," Escobar explained.
Escobar has become somewhat of an expert on the Stand Your Ground Law.
He represents Curtis Reeves, a former Tampa police captain who shot and killed Chad Oulson during a dispute inside a Wesley Chapel movie theater back in 2014.
The shooting, like the one in Clearwater, was also caught on surveillance video and many believed it was a clear-cut case of murder.
Escobar, however, says there were many other factors to consider and misinformation tainted the case from the start.
“[It has been said that] he shot someone over someone texting with their phone [and] he shot someone over the fact that popcorn was being thrown. Both of those have been refuted by the evidence in the Reeves case," said Escobar.
The key question is: Were the actions of the person being attacked appropriate?
“Remember, the danger does not have to be actual. In the eyes of the person that is defending himself, it is a perception thing. Is that perception reasonable, on his part, that he is going to suffer serious bodily injury or death?" explained Escobar.
Escobar says, in the Clearwater case, the violent shove by Markeis McGlockton that sent Michael Drejka to the ground could have been fatal.
“There is no doubt he could have hit his head on the ground and he would have been dead instantaneously,“ argued Escobar.
It will ultimately be up to Pinellas County State Attorney Bernie McCabe to decide whether to file charges against Drejka.
Escobar says it is important to let all the facts shake out because the video alone is not enough,
“Well if all we are looking at is the video and this gentleman in Clearwater isn’t charged, I’d be certainly scratching my head saying, 'Are you kidding me?' Because Reeves' situation was a lot more violent and in my opinion, more pressing," said Escobar.