Saturday, June 23, 2018
Public safety

Spring Hill confrontation starts with potty stop

SPRING HILL — Anthony Vanstyn got mad and pulled a knife when a property owner refused to let him urinate in peace, authorities say.

About 90 minutes after the Sunday evening encounter, Vanstyn, 20, was booked on charges of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and resisting arrest.

A Hernando Sheriff's Office arrest report released Tuesday gives this account:

Darren Ciraolo was standing on the back patio of his home on Whitewood Avenue about 5:30 p.m. when he saw Vanstyn walk into the back yard and begin to urinate.

Ciraolo asked Vanstyn what he was doing.

"Peeing," Vanstyn reportedly replied. "What does it look like?"

Ciraolo started to walk toward Vanstyn, who threatened to "cut" Ciarolo if he continued to approach. When Ciraolo got about 15 feet away, Vanstyn pulled from his jacket a knife with a roughly 5-inch blade.

Vanstyn made several "short lunges" with the knife, then turned and walked south on Whitewood. Ciraolo later told deputies he followed at a safe distance while his friend called 911. According to Ciraolo, Vanstyn turned around several times and threatened to kill him.

Deputies arrived, and Vanstyn ran. A police dog caught up to him near the corner of Angler Street and Linden Drive.

Vanstyn showed deputies footage he recorded with his phone that showed Ciraolo following him and warning that authorities were on the way. At one point, Vanstyn turned the camera toward his own face and said, "I'm recording this in case I have to kill someone."

Vanstyn said he lost the knife while he was running. He said the blade was 3 inches long.

According to the report, Vanstyn lives on the 2000 block of Maximilian Avenue, the next street over and about one block north of Ciraolo's house.

Vanstyn was released from the Hernando County Detention Center early Monday after posting $5,500 bail, records show.

He was arrested in Hernando County last year and charged with possession of marijuana, possession of a controlled substance and resisting arrest without violence. The charges were dropped after he completed a pretrial intervention program, records show.

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