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Racial hate forces homebuyers to cancel Davis Islands deal, owner refuses refund

in Local Courts by

A married couple of Indian descent, looking to buy a Davis Islands home last year, canceled the deal after angry neighbors hurled violent racial epithets.

Now the homeowners are refusing to refund a $30K good faith deposit.

Kaderbhai Ali Asgar, also known as Ali Asgar Kaderbhai, is a 52-year-old Tampa resident who works as an engineering intern and secretary for A-One Engineering & Consultants. Asgar’s wife, Sehera Ali Asgar, 49, is A-One’s manager. Herbert Roy “Herb” Donica is a 63-year-old attorney at Donica Law and Donica Mediation Solutions in Tampa, along with his wife, 62-year-old attorney Janice “Jan” Donica. Herb Donica had previously served as president of the Tampa Bay Bankruptcy Bar Association.

In August 2016, the Asgars agreed to buy the Donica’s 2,766-square-foot Davis Islands home for $658,000. The home in question is at 632 Luzon Ave. in Tampa.

Debra Lynn “Debbie” Olson, a 59-year-old Tampa resident, lives with her husband Bruce Harlan Olson in a neighboring 3,278-square-foot home at 631 Luzon Ave.

David Harvey Howard, 58, is the owner of a now-defunct company On Your Own with Help at Home. He purportedly lives nearby at 628 Luzon Ave. in a 3,227-square-foot home owned by attorney Bret Thomas Hamlin.

When the Asgars, joined by two family members wearing “traditional Indian Sari attire,” arrived for a final walk-thru Nov. 4, 2016, a day before the home closing, Debbie Olson allegedly burst into the home, knocked down a Donica family employee, and began yelling the Asgars were “fucking up the neighborhood.”

Olson then left to go to the home of David Howard.

According to the suit filed Jan. 3 in Hillsborough County Circuit Court, Howard then “angrily strode into the front yard” of the Donicas’ home, screaming that the Asgars were not welcome. Howard told Herb Donica he would “break all of your fucking windows” and “burn your fucking house down.”

Howard’s actions — which included calling the couple “fucking ragheads” — caused the Asgar’s young daughter to become “hysterical” and cry.

A Realtor for the Donicas’ called Tampa Police, who filed a report. On the same day as the outburst, records show both Herb and Jan Donica filed repeat-violence complaints against Howard, which the court rejected.

Howard had been in trouble before. In 2010, he was found guilty of misdemeanor battery, and faced a repeat-violence claim by a woman unrelated to the incident with the Asgars.

After the 2016 incident, the Asgars decided to call off the home purchase. The Donicas allegedly refused to refund the $30,000 deposit.

The Asgars are seeking damages because of inducement, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and tortious interference with a contract. They are asking the court to order a return of the $30,000 deposit.

In 2011, Franchising.com reported that the Asgars signed a franchising agreement to open as many as 25 Tasti D-Lite locations over the next 10 years throughout the Tampa Bay area.

Phil Ammann is a St. Petersburg-based journalist and blogger. With more than three decades of writing, editing and management experience, Phil produced material for both print and online, in addition to founding HRNewsDaily.com. His broad range includes covering news, local government and culture reviews for Patch.com, technical articles and profiles for BetterRVing Magazine and advice columns for a metaphysical website, among others. Phil has served as a contributor and production manager for SaintPetersBlog since 2013. He lives in St. Pete with his wife, visual artist Margaret Juul and can be reached at phil@floridapolitics.com and on Twitter @PhilAmmann.

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