Venice man charged with attacking couple with ax, threat to kill woman

SARASOTA -- A Venice man was charged Saturday with smashing a car window with an ax and holding the ax up to his girlfriend's daughter's throat and threatening to kill her, according to the Sarasota County Sheriff's Office.

Three people, a 45-year-old man, his 23-year-old girlfriend and the girlfriend's mother, drove to the mother's boyfriend's house in the 1000 block of North Cypress Point Road in Venice around 4:30 p.m., according to an arrest report.

The two women went inside Robert Giampino's house, while the man remained in the car parked at the edge of the driveway, deputies said.

Giampino, 58, and the male victim had a prior conflict, and Giampino decided to confront the man with an ax, smashing in the driver's side window of the vehicle with the weapon, according to the report. The glass shattered and cut the victim's arms, who immediately took off down the road.

The victim's girlfriend ran outside and was trying to hold Giampino back, and Giampino grabbed her and held the ax blade up to her throat, threatening to kill her or her boyfriend, deputies said.

The woman started yelling that she was going to call the police and Giampino let her go, the report said. She suffered a cut on her thumb from holding the ax away from her neck.

A neighbor who saw Giampino shatter the car window had called law enforcement, and provided deputies with a sworn statement about the rest of the incident.

Giampino confessed to the crime in an interview, deputies said.

Giampino is charged with two counts of assault with a deadly weapon and was released after posting his $200,000 bail.