Lake Co. woman attacked by 81-year-old man she met online

CLERMONT, Fla. (WESH) - “I’ve been battling this for almost a year. I broke up with him a year ago the end of August.”

Cheryl Grech met Derek Britton, 81, through The two dated briefly, but Grech broke things off with Britton and said it’s been a nightmare ever since.

“It’s been a year, and I’ve had cameras out there and every time I’m calling the police after, he’s already gone," Grech said.

She said it’s been one thing after another.

Grech said she received threatening letters from Britton, that he put oil paint in her pool and water in her gas tank.

One morning she woke up to red spray paint on her windows and garage.

She always suspected Britton, but was told she needed to catch him in the act.

So she did.

“I was determined that he wasn’t going to get away,” Grech said, "So I did whatever I had to do.”

The cameras on Grech’s house show Britton first arriving around 11:30 p.m. Tuesday, investigators said.

She got the notification to her tablet.

“I can see him actually spray painting my front window,” Grech described. “He’s using black spray paint this time.”

She went out to confront him, and he was gone. After checking her property, she went inside to call police.

“I hear, ‘Bing!’ and I hear another notification and I’m like, ‘He came back!’”

Grech said this time she wouldn’t let him get away with it. She went to take his picture with her tablet and things escalated quickly.

“I ran outside, and we had an altercation, to say the least,” Grech explained, with a black eye and scrape on her face. “And I wasn’t about to let him go, run away, get away again.”

Grech and a neighbor were able to hold Britton there until deputies arrived.

Britton was served an injunction two weeks ago to stay away from Grech.

He faces a half-dozen charges, including aggravated stalking, simple battery and violation of protection.

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