Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Traffic incident erupts into gunfire at Tarpon Springs gas station

TARPON SPRINGS —Nichole Hill was inside the Circle K calling 911 when she heard the gunshot on Sunday night.

She saw her boyfriend, Pete Mastrovasilis, running from the gunman, but then was afraid to look.

What began as a leisurely motorcycle ride for the couple and escalated to road rage, nearly ended in tragedy. "I thought I lost my boyfriend," Hill said Monday.

The gunshot was the culmination of a terrifying sequence of events for Hill and Mastrovasilis — from tire-bump to fistfight to gunshot, then finally to an arrest.

Arrested was David Bowman, 34, of 85 S Canal Drive, Palm Harbor, on charges of attempted first-degree murder, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, carrying a concealed weapon, using a firearm while under the influence, simple battery and domestic battery from an incident earlier in the evening. He remained in the Pinellas County Jail in lieu of $30,750 bail Monday evening.

"It definitely changed our lives," Hill said.

According to police, Bowman's troubles began about 7:15 p.m. Sunday when he hit his girlfriend, Alicia Eicher, during an argument in his car in the parking lot of the Boat Club on Beckett Way.

Eicher got out of the car and walked to a nearby gas station, police said, as Bowman drove away.

About 8 p.m., police said, Bowman bumped Mastrovasilis and Hill from behind with his white Oldsmobile as they rode Mastrovasilis' motorcycle on U.S. 19 N.

Mastrovasilis and Bowman began yelling at each other and, police said, Bowman pulled a .38-caliber semiautomatic handgun from his glove box and pointed it at the couple.

"I'll teach you," he said, according to authorities.

Mastrovasilis and Hill headed east on Tarpon Avenue, and Bowman met them in a nearby Circle K gas station, 1001 E Tarpon Ave., according to police.

Bowman stuck the handgun into his waistband, police said. The two began to scuffle and after Mastrovasilis landed a punch and knocked Bowman to the ground, Bowman again pulled out the gun, police said.

"I got him pretty good," Mastrovasilis said. "When I gave him an uppercut, he fell backwards and had a chance to grab his gun."

Mastrovasilis ran as Bowman shot, police said, and the bullet shattered a gas station window. Hill was inside with the cashier calling 911.

Bowman was arrested by Tarpon Springs police without incident a short time later.

Bowman's only other arrest in Florida was on a DUI charge in 2006, according to Florida criminal records.

Times researcher Shirl Kennedy contributed to this report. Brian Spegele can be reached at

Traffic incident erupts into gunfire at Tarpon Springs gas station 08/03/09 [Last modified: Monday, August 3, 2009 8:29pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Pinellas licensing board asks Sen. Jack Latvala for $500,000 loan

    Local Government

    The troubled Pinellas County agency that regulates contractors wants Sen. Jack Latvala to help it get a $500,000 lifeline from the state to stay afloat.

    State Sen . Jack Latvala, R- Clearwater, is being asked to help the Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board get $500,000 from the state so it can stay open beyond February.  [SCOTT KEELER   |   Times]
  2. FHP: 55-year-old pedestrian struck, killed by car in Largo


    LARGO — A 55-year-old St. Petersburg man died late Saturday after he walked into the path of a car on Ulmerton Road, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.

  3. Study offers warning for Florida strawberry farmers from global warming


    LAKELAND — Florida strawberry growers already have experienced a dress rehearsal for the impacts of climate change during the past two seasons.

     Carl Grooms shows off some of his strawberries at Fancy Farms near Plant City Tuesday, Feb. 17, 2015.  Grooms, President of Fancy Farms. [JAMES BORCHUCK  |  Times]
  4. Two Interstate 275 tractor-trailer crashes cause delays in Tampa


    TAMPA — Two tractor-trailers driving in opposite directions on Interstate 275 crashed Sunday within a mile of each other, causing lane closures on both sides for much of the morning.

    Two tractor-trailers going opposite directions on Interstate 275 in Tampa crashed Sunday morning, closing lanes on each side, according to the Florida Highway Patrol. [Florida Highway Patrol]
  5. Read Anthony Scaramucci's old tweets. You'll understand why he deleted them


    New White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci hasn't always shared the political views of the administration he now serves.

    Anthony Scaramucci, incoming White House communications director, takes questions as he speaks in the briefing room at the White House on Friday. [ Washington Post photo by by Jabin Botsford]