SHADY HILLS — When his wife came to his house to tell him their marriage was over, Robert Bodiddlie Ball screamed at her, beat her and kicked her to the floor, deputies say. Then he took her out for dinner and bought her a new pair of shoes, the whole time threatening her with a knife.
Janet Ball, 52, told her father on Monday morning she was going to visit her estranged husband to sort out issues on property they still shared. According to a Pasco County Sheriff's Office report, she said she'd be gone only an hour.
Once she arrived at her husband's home at 14730 Hays Road, however, the couple began arguing. She told Robert Ball that after 32 years of marriage, she didn't love him anymore. He yelled at her, the report said.
Then he punched her so hard in the side of her head that she fell to the floor, the sheriff's report said. He pushed her back down and kicked her in the stomach. He took her cellphone and car keys and dragged her by her hair to prop her up against a wall. She later told deputies that was the first time she noticed the large black folding knife in his hand.
The report says he put the knife to her throat.
Robert Ball, 49, made her sit on the bed while they watched TV. Ball told his wife "she better not give him any trouble or he would kill her," the report states. At 5 p.m., he made his wife drive him to Golden Corral at 8928 U.S. 19.
After dinner, he took her to Walmart in Hudson where he bought her a new pair of shoes, the report states. He got impatient in the checkout line, so they went to a register in the garden center.
On the way there, the report states, he told her, "Remember, I have the knife in my pocket so don't show your a---."
They came back home. About 7 p.m., there was a knock at the door. Robert Ball answered. It was Janet Ball's father, James Hubbard, 74. He wanted to know what was going on.
Robert Ball yelled and cursed at Hubbard, the report states. Janet Ball screamed a warning that her husband had a gun in the house. Robert Ball pulled out the knife.
Hubbard reached in the house and grabbed his daughter. They ran for his car and jumped in. Janet Ball turned to see her husband standing in the doorway with a rifle aimed at the car, she later told deputies. She and her father heard a gunshot but didn't see where the bullet went. No one was hurt.
That night, Janet Ball and her parents recounted the story to a sheriff's deputy. Robert Ball was arrested at his house Wednesday on charges of aggravated assault, false imprisonment, domestic battery and tampering with a witness.
He remained Thursday in the Land O'Lakes jail in lieu of $70,000 bail.
Alex Orlando can be reached at [email protected] or (727)869-6247.