Taylor Swift’s father reportedly got into a brief physical altercation last month after he found a stranger in his $4 million penthouse.
The singer’s dad, 67-year-old Scott Swift, returned to his St. Petersburg, Florida home on the evening of January 17 to find an unknown man exiting the residence, according to an arrest affidavit obtained by the Tampa Bay Times. There was a struggle between the two men before the suspect, later identified as 30-year-old St. Augustine resident Terrence Hoover, fled the scene, the outlet reports.
Hoover was arrested in relation to the incident nearly a month later on Wednesday. He has been charged with burglary and is currently in custody in Marion County on $50,000 bail, according to the Times.
Hoover was allegedly able to somehow make it past the “fully gated and guarded entrance” and travel through the parking garage, all the way to the emergency stairwell, which he is then accused of using to access Swift's penthouse — which consists of the entire top floor of the building — by climbing 13 flights of stairs. Swift returned home mere seconds after Hoover entered the residence at around 10 p.m. that night, according to the affidavit obtained by the paper.
Following the incident, Hoover called the St. Petersburg Police Department to report what had happened but did not heed authorities’ request to return to the scene at the Vinoy Place Condominiums, according to NBC News.
Swift was able to identify Hoover after authorities showed him a photo lineup, the Tampa Bay Times reports. A judge then issued a warrant for Hoover’s arrest on January 31.
However, Hoover’s mother, Donna DeNapoli, claimed the incident involving her son was a misunderstanding and argued that her son should be charged with trespassing, according to local station WFTS.
“He was going to take pictures on the top floor, of St. Petersburg, he's never been there before,” she told WFTS. “The door was wide open, not cracked, wide open. He was at the wrong place at the wrong time. He didn't mean any harm, and he didn't have any intentions of stealing or hurting anybody.”
“Taylor Swift's dad started punching him, and he was blocking his punches all the way down, all the way down the elevator,” she continued. “He actually called the police himself and told them about the encounter. He should not be charged with burglary if anything he should be charged with trespassing.”
Hoover has a lengthy criminal record that includes trespassing, aggravated assault with a weapon, kidnapping and false imprisonment, and battery, according to publicly available records from the St. Johns County Sheriff's Office.
The man was near Swift's residence that day because he was searching for his wife, who left him and their three children six months ago and was “looking for churches by the water where his wife could be staying,” DeNapoli told the Tampa Bay Times. Hoover’s wife had suggested in the past that she was living in such a place, his mother said.
Taylor Swift was not present at the time of the incident and does not live in the St. Petersburg home with her father, according to WFTS.
Scott Swift did not respond to the Times’ request for comment, and his daughter has not commented publicly on the alleged burglary.
Hoover is reportedly scheduled to appear in court on February 18.
Crime Time is your destination for true crime stories from around the world, breaking crime news, and information about Oxygen's original true crime shows and documentaries. Sign up for our Crime Time Newsletter and subscribe to our true crime podcast Martinis & Murder for all the best true crime content.