Deputies: Elderly Florida man dies after donning mask, attacking neighbor with hammer

An 83-year-old man who allegedly tried to attack his neighbor with a hammer and drill while wearing a ski mask died from his injuries after that neighbor attacked him in return, according to authorities in Florida.

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According to Jacksonville Sheriff's Office police report and court documents, a neighbor said he came home and found his Jeep and boat had been spray-painted. Police said the Jeep had flat tires.

When that neighbor went to find out what happened, he said a masked man, who he later learned was Roger Gionet, jumped out from behind his Jeep and tried to attack him with a hammer.

The neighbor said he got ahold of the hammer himself and hit Gionet in the face with it.

The neighbor said Gionet then tried to stab him with a drill, but the neighbor kicked him to the ground. When the attacker took off his mask, the neighbor recognized Gionet.

Court documents show the neighbor and his wife took out an injunction for stalking against Gionet after the incident, but Gionet died from his injuries several days later at the hospital.

Neighbors said Gionet was known to have a hot temper.

"He was just an aggressive person, and you know that puts red flags up, don't you think?" neighbor Debbie Dickey-Mierzejewski said. "He's just been known as the older man that harasses the children and harasses people."

Dickey-Mierzejewski said she once confronted Gionet after he yelled at her nephew and accused him of vandalizing his property.

"I took that opportunity to address this with him because I wasn't going to have it," Dickey-Mierzejewski said. "He used profanity. He told him that he knows what he's doing like he knows he's the one vandalizing his house or whatever."

Dickey-Mierzejewski said Gionet often argued with people for parking near his property or for making noise.

"This man that lives in our neighborhood was a ticking time bomb and I don't think we in the neighborhood really knew how bad it was, but it exploded," Dickey-Mierzejewski said.

A member of Gionet's family told WJAX he had two children and a stepdaughter who recently passed away.

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