Victim: Stephan Grant Parks
The accused: Matthew Selezan

Stephan Grant_Parks

Stephan Grant Parks

White male

Age at time: 33

Weapon: unarmed


Matthew Selezan

White male

Age at time: 22

Weapon: none

Defendant photo: Pinellas County Sheriff's Office

Case type:
Argument over love interest




Case year:

Location details: Parking lot of Freaki Tiki bar in Clearwater, Pinellas County, on June 12, 2009

What happened: Two men began to fight over a girl in the parking lot of a bar. The defendant, Matthew Selezan, said Stephen Parks sparked the fight by squaring off with him in the bathroom and loudly taunting him. Selezan said Parks was upset that a girl had been flirting with him and continued to try to provoke a fight as they were in the bar parking lot. However, a witness said Parks was leaving when Selezan turned to fight him. Undisputed is that Selezan punched Parks in the face and grabbed his legs, causing him to fall, hit his head and fracture his skull. Selezan left the scene before officers arrived. When he was arrested days later, he said he was acting in self defense.

The outcome: A judge granted Selezan's motion for immunity.

Investigating agency: Pinellas County Sheriff

Case decision made by: Judge

Trayvon Martin’s death became controversial because circumstances leading up to the shooting cast doubt on who was to blame. The Tampa Bay Times reviewed other “stand your ground” cases for similar circumstances. The Times relied on available information, some of which may not tell the whole story. When the situation was unclear, that was noted.

Yes No Unclear/

Did the victim initiate the confrontation?


Was the victim armed?


Was the victim committing a crime that led to the confrontation?


Did the defendant pursue the victim?


Could the defendant have retreated to avoid the conflict?


Was the defendant on his or her property?


Did someone witness the attack?


Was there physical evidence?


Source: Pinellas County Clerk of Court case progress docket, June 27, 2009.

Source: Pinellas County Sheriff's Office report, June 23, 2009.

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Case last updated: Aug. 10, 2013