Surge-protector-tossing man arrested after Summerfield woman smacked in the head

Robert Edward Clifford

Marion County sheriff’s deputies were called to a Summerfield home Thursday night after a woman reported being hit in the back of her head with a surge-protector power strip.

A woman at a home on SE 39th Terrace told deputies that she and 46-year-old Robert Edward Clifford were in a verbal altercation in the front yard when she decided to go back inside the house. She said that when she turned to walk back toward the house, she “felt a heavy object hit her in the back of the head.” She said she turned around and saw the surge protector lying on the ground next to her, then went inside and called deputies for help.

A deputy noted that he saw the power cord on the ground and a welt on the woman’s head “that had a small amount of blood protruding” from it.

Clifford, who has spent time in the Marion County Jail seven times since July 2004, told deputies that he and the woman had been arguing all day about how he wanted her to leave because her belongings already were packed. He said he was working on his truck when the woman came outside to argue. He said she eventually went back into the house and “he never touched her,” the report said.

Clifford was taken into custody and transported to the Marion County Jail shortly before midnight Thursday, where he was charged with battery (second or subsequent offense) and a probation violation out of Bradford County for driving with a suspended or revoked license. He was being held on no bond and is scheduled to appear in a Marion County courtroom on Oct. 15 at 8 a.m. to answer to the battery charge.