KISSIMMEE – An Indiana man who was in Central Florida with his family is now in the Osceola County Jail, following a road rage incident in which he’s accused of pulling a gun on a motorist who cut him off in traffic.
Jared Bretherick, 22, of 7947 Cedar Drive, Avon, Indiana, was arrested and charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon after deputies said he pulled a gun on the driver of a car that had passed him on the roadway.
The Osceola County Sheriff’s Office said the incident happened on Dec. 29 around 1 p.m., when deputies got a call about a road rage incident in the area of Target Boulevard and U.S. 192 in Kissimmee. The call was about a man armed with a gun who was threatening another motorist.
When the deputies got to the scene, they found Bretherick standing behind a red Chevrolet Silverado pointing a handgun at a blue Escalade.
“Deputies spoke with Bretherick, who indicated he was with his family,” said Twis Lizasuain, public information officer for the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office.
Lizasuain said Bretherick told deputies his father had been driving westbound on U.S. 192, when the driver of the Chevrolet Silverado “passed them at a high rate of speed and almost hit their vehicle.”
Bretherick told deputies his father honked his horn and drove past the Escalade. At that point, the driver of the Escalade increased his speed, pulled in front of their vehicle and stopped in the middle of West 192. Bretherick jumped out of his car and approached the other driver, Lizasuain said.
“Bretherick approached the driver of the Escalade and told him he had a gun,” Lizasuain said. “He would not put the gun down until deputies arrived.”
The driver of the Escalade, Bretherick’s father and a witness all called 911 for assistance.
After interviewing everyone involved in this incident — and some of the witnesses who confirmed that Bretherick had approached the victim with a handgun — Bretherick was arrested and charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, and booked into the Osceola County Jail.
Florida is a right to carry state when it comes to the possession of handguns, and no state permit is required to possess or purchase a rifle, shotgun or handgun. It’s only illegal for any convicted felon to have in his or her possession a firearm or to carry a concealed weapon unless his civil rights have been restored.
Earlier this year, the Florida Legislature also voted to protect people with concealed weapons permits from getting in trouble for unintentionally revealing their guns. It allows permit holders to carry their firearms out in the open, as long as they have identification.
The intention of the law was to protect permit holders whose guns might peek through holes in their clothing.
Aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, though, is a serious, third degree felony charge, which has a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $5,000 fine under Florida Criminal Statute §784.021.
Assault is defined as “an intentional threat by word, or act that seeks to physically harm another, coupled with an apparent ability to do so, which creates a well-founded fear in such other person that such violence is imminent.” An Aggravated Assault is “is an assault with a deadly weapon without intent to kill; or with an intent to commit a felony.”
The web site www.myfloridadefenselawyer.com notes that “Many simple assault and battery charges are fights that got out of hand. And just because you were the person arrested doesn’t mean you even started the fight. It just means the other person called the police, or they simply decided to arrest all parties and sort it out later. Aggravated Assault can also be charged aggressively by the District Attorney. An assault may be categorized as aggravated if you threw an object, even if you didn’t come close to or intend to hit the other person. If you throw a potted plant against a wall, that could be considered an aggravated assault. A kick with a shod foot may also be charged as a felony assault.”
The web site www.criminaldefenselawyer.com/resources/criminal-defense, notes that “There are options with sentencing for assault with a deadly weapon. In some instances, as when there was no actual injury to the victim, the charges may be reduced to a misdemeanor. Additional defense options include, but are not limited to, the accused was acting in self-defense or in defense of another person. By employing a proper defense, an accused may be able to have alternative sentencing, including court ordered classes and probation or community service, depending on the circumstances of the case.”
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