TAMPA — Tony Daniel, the Tampa provocateur known for his racist roadside displays, is claiming self-defense under Florida's stand your ground law in a case where he's accused of beating two women with an electronic megaphone.
Hillsborough Clerk of Court records show a stand your ground motion seeking dismissal of criminal charges was filed Thursday in Daniel's case.
PREVIOUS COVERAGE: Race-baiting Tony Daniel charged with battery after clash over one of his signs
Daniel, 60, who is black, is frequently seen on Tampa streets with signs that target African-Americans. His pickup truck bears Confederate and Nazi flags and racial slurs.
He is also a frequent attendee at Tampa City Council meetings. Earlier this year, the council changed its rules to ban vulgar and threatening speech at its meetings, in part because of Daniel's antics.
BACKGROUND: Racist slurs on Tampa truck shock, confuse and mislead onlookers
On July 13, he was standing at the corner of Kennedy Boulevard and Hyde Park Avenue with a sign that included the N-word.
Nayvia Tukes, 20, and Rowshana Tukes, 41, stood nearby as Daniel spoke into a megaphone. A passing motorist recorded video of the ensuing confrontation.
The younger woman slapped Daniel's sign, according to a police report. Daniel then lashed out at the two with the megaphone, striking them both, police said.
Daniel hit Rowshana Tukes several more times as she ran toward a vehicle, the police report stated. She opened the driver's side door and Daniel forced her inside before striking her again.
PREVIOUS COVERAGE: Tampa provocateur charged in fracas over racist slur returns to corner, claims self-defense
Bystanders broke up the clash.
Days after his arrest, Daniel told the Tampa Bay Times he was defending himself and vowed to fight the charges. He claimed the women "violently attacked" him and snatched his glasses.
The stand your ground law says a person faced with a violent confrontation has no duty to retreat and can use force if in fear of imminent harm. A recent change to the law, which put the burden of proof on prosecutors in such cases, has led to a rise in stand your ground claims throughout the state.
Daniel was initially accused of aggravated battery with a deadly weapon — the megaphone. But Hillsborough prosecutors last week reduced the charge to two counts of misdemeanor battery.
A court hearing is scheduled for Oct. 9.