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Holiday man accused of assaulting father, 73

HOLIDAY — At 9 p.m. Wednesday, a 43-year-old man asked his father for $20.

Michael Zervos doesn't have a job and lives with his parents on Jambalana Drive. His father is 73. His mother is 71.

His father later told authorities his son always asks for money and when he gets it, he asks for more.

That night, his father said no.

Zervos shouted at his father in Greek, flipped the living room table and broke a closet door, according to the Pasco County Sheriff's Office. He pushed his father to the ground, went to the garage and came back with a can of diesel fuel, a report states.

Zervos poured the fuel on the living room floor and said he was going to kill his father and burn down the house, the report says.

His mother hid in the bedroom and called 911.

Zervos fled in his father's Toyota Corolla when a deputy arrived at the house.

His father told the deputy he didn't need medical treatment, "but I observed him grab his back as if in pain" the deputy wrote.

His mother said her son "has gotten angry before, but has never gone as far as dumping diesel fuel inside the residence and threatening to burn the house down," the report said.

She seemed "upset and disturbed."

Court records show Zervos has been violent to his father before.

In 2005, his father tried to get a domestic violence injunction against his son, but a judge turned down the request, court records show.

Two years later, on the morning of March 1, 2007, Zervos broke furniture and punched his father several times in the face and tried to choke him, the Sheriff's Office states.

It was a week before the father's 71st birthday.

Zervos left and came back two hours later, grabbed a knife from the kitchen, chased his father and then punctured the tires on his father's two cars, records state.

"He got what he deserved," Zervos told a deputy. Arrest reports from that incident said Zervos has an indentation on the left side of his head from surgery, but makes no note of what trauma caused the injury.

Zervos was arrested on assault and other charges. He spent five months in jail.

On Dec. 18, 2007, the court ordered Zervos to have no contact with his father, a report states. That day, Zervos went to his father's house twice and was at the front door when a deputy showed up.

He spent two months in jail and enrolled in a batterers intervention program, according to court documents. He completed the domestic violence program on March 6, 2009.

The domestic violence injunction was dropped and Zervos began living with his parents again.

On Thursday — the day after the diesel attack — Zervos came back to the house to pack up his belongings. His plan was to take his father's car and flee to New York, the report says.

His father called 911 when his son returned.

En route to the jail, the deputy asked Zervos why he pushed his father.

"I just barely tapped him and he fell," Zervos said, according to the report.

The deputy said his father could have been really hurt, as it takes more time to heal at his age.

"Michael stated he was sorry and had made a mistake," the report says.

Zervos told the deputy he never made any threats and spilled the fuel accidentally. But when asked why he planned to run to New York, Zervos said he was scared "because I was guilty," the report states.

Zervos is charged with domestic battery and aggravated assault. He remained Friday at the Pasco County jail in lieu of $2,750 bail.

Times researcher Will Gorham contributed to this story. Erin Sullivan can be reached at esullivan@sptimes.com or (727) 869-6229.

Holiday man accused of assaulting father, 73 02/12/10 [Last modified: Friday, February 12, 2010 7:11pm]
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