Daytona Beach commissioner accused of punching man

Robert Gilliland charged with battery

By Loren Korn - Reporter

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - Daytona Beach Commissioner Robert Gilliland was arrested Saturday after allegedly getting into an altercation with a man and punching him.

[AUDIO: 911 call released ]

Gilliland reportedly told police when he arrived to the gate of his neighborhood there was a 2013 Corvette in front of his vehicle that wouldn't move. Gilliland honked his horn, the car pulled forward through the gate and then stopped again.

Police said the driver of the Corvette, Alan Robinson, got out of his vehicle, walked over to Gilliland's and removed his keys, accusing Gilliland of being intoxicated.

Police said Robinson told them a similar story, but that he state Gilliland was honking the horn and yelling, "Get the (expletive) out of the way."

Robinson told police that he removed Gilliland's keys from his car, believing that he was intoxicated.

Police said the argument escalated and Gilliland punched Robinson in the right side of his head, leaving his ear red and his eye red and bloodshot.

Robinson's son, who was in his car at the time of the incident, also confirmed Robinson's story.

A 911 call was made after the altercation.

"I need cops over here.  There's a fight at the gate," the 911 caller, whose name was not released, said.  "The guy's drunk.  The guy punched the other guy."

Robinson reportedly told police that he would be filing charges against Gilliland.

In his arrest Saturday night, Gilliland was charged with battery on a person 65 years old or older, a felony charge.

Calls and emails to Gilliland, the mayor and the city's public information officer have not been returned.

According to the city charter, a felony conviction could result in losing a commissioner's seat, but Gilliland is so far only charged with felony battery.

Kevin Pitts DUI & Criminal Defense Attorney for The Law Offices of Kevin J. Pitts P.A.

"Under Florida law, for an officer to make a warrantless misdemeanor arrest, they have to see each and every element of the offense," said Kevin Pitts, a DUI & Criminal Defense Attorney.

Pitts also said for this incident, the officer couldn't have charged him.

"In this situation where the keys were actually taken from him, the officer didn't see the driving and the vehicle wasn't operable without keys," Pitts said.

Gilliand's attorney Michael Politis said his client did nothing criminal and never touched Robinson, and he believes the video will prove it.

Daytona Beach police did not release the video and turned it over to the State Attorney's Office for review.

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