‘When you drive like that you get shot’

By Susan Bromley

Staff Writer

A motorist who was not amused with the teenager driver behind him and reacted by allegedly getting out of his vehicle and pointing a gun at the 18-year-old, is facing a charge of felonious assault.

Brandon deputies responded at 2:44 p.m., Oct. 17 to the 100 block of Village Court, where the complainant said he was driving eastbound on Mill Street from Church Street behind a green car. He was he was swerving back and forth in his lane “like NASCAR drivers do to heat up their tires.” He said he was stopping and then going on the road when he saw the green car stop at the top of the hill in the middle of the road. He said he stopped behind the green car and then observed a male get out of the car and walk to his car, pointing a gun and asking if he and his two passengers, his 15-year-old brother and a 16-year-old girl, thought it was funny to drive like that. The man then returned to his car and drove away.

The 15-year-old said his brother was swerving back and forth in his lane to mess around with his girlfriend. He said the suspect stopped and then exited his car with a gun in his hand and was cursing at them, and pointed a black handgun at both of them for at least five seconds with a two hand hold. He then returned to his car and drove away. He contacted his mother approximately 20 minutes later to let her know what had happened.

The girl said the 18-year-old was swerving back and forth in his lane keeping a safe distance and “just screwing around.” She said she saw the suspect get out of the car with a small black handgun pointed at them with his finger hovering over the trigger. He then returned to his car and left. She said, “Any normal person would have been scared having a gun pointed at them like that.”

The suspect was located and said the kids were driving on Mill Street up behind his vehicle and stopping consistently. He stopped, thinking maybe the two boys

were “clowns” so he made a hand gesture for them to go around, but they did not leave, just kept revving up their engine. He said the one kid had red curly hair and he was concerned they may be “part of the clown thing going around.” He said he made a gesture with his hands pretending to have a gun and pointing his fingers at the kids, yelling, “Learn how to drive– when you drive like that you could get shot!” He said he then returned to his address on Village Court and observed the teen driver go by four times and was worried they were going to mess with his truck.

The suspect had a valid CPL. He said he had taken the gun in the house. The deputy asked him to show him the gun, and the suspect invited him into the house to see it. He then looked around the living room, unable to find where he had just placed the gun. The deputy observed a small black Smith and Wesson under the couch, which he secured and unloaded. The suspect said that was the gun he had in his holster during the incident. It was confiscated and taken into evidence. A warrant package for felonious assault was prepared and turned over to the detective. The case is open.



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