Florida man accused of attacking former boss with nail-studded baseball bat

Florida man accused of attacking former boss with nail-studded baseball bat
Matthew Thomas Shaler was arrested Dec. 18 and charged with aggravated assault. (Indian River County Sheriff's Office)

VERO BEACH, Fla. — A Florida man is accused of attacking his former employer with a nail-spiked baseball bat in mid-December, authorities said.

Matthew Thomas Shaler, 38, of Vero Beach, was arrested Wednesday and charged with one count of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, and one count of armed trespass, according to an Indian River County Sheriff’s Office arrest affidavit.

Shaler posted $35,000 bail Thursday and will appear in court Feb. 7, according to arrest records.

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Shaler was wounded during the Dec. 18 incident when his former employer shot him, TCPalm reported. The man who fired the gun said he shot Shaler in self-defense, the website reported.

The victim said he heard a loud bang on the door of his flooring business around 11 a.m. Dec. 18, TCPalm reported.

According to an Indian River County detective, Shaler stood outside the door, wearing a mask and hood and holding a baseball bat, “approximately 3 feet long with ...10 long metal nails sticking out from different angles ... in the head of the bat.”

Shaler had been banned from the property and was issued a trespass warning May 23, according to the arrest affidavit.

The owner asked Shaler to leave several times before opening the door slightly and firing his gun at the ground, TCPalm reported.

According to the report, he asked Shaler to leave multiple times, then opened the door enough to fire the gun once at the ground. The man said he discharged the gun one more time before Shaler “began laughing and attempted to open the office door,” according to the affidavit.

After a struggle in the doorway, Shaler swung the bat and the man fired the gun a third time next to his leg, according to the affidavit.

Shaler told detectives he was joking and had come to the business to "thank’ his former employer, TCPalm reported.

Neither Shaler nor the business owner could be reached for comment, the website reported.