FOUR CORNERS — If there’s one thing that Orange and Osceola counties pride themselves on, it’s having world-famous tourist attractions like Disney World and Universal Studios, and popular spots like International Drive and U.S. 192.
The restaurants, hotels, gift shops and other attractions on these highways help make Central Florida one of the most heavily visited places across the globe.
That is, as long as people feel safe being there.
The tourist area along U.S. 192 took a deadly turn last week, just at the start of the Memorial Day Weekend, when a woman, her boyfriend and their one-year-old son became the target of a convicted felon brandishing a handgun.
Malcolm Jamaal Robins, 30, of 2710 Bradley Drive in Poinciana, is now in the Osceola County Jail, charged with attempted murder.
He was found hiding at his mother’s home in Poinciana.
The Osceola County Sheriff’s Office said the registered felon, who is prohibited by federal law from owning any firearms, shot at the woman, even though he also was facing a felony warrant for his arrest from a previous burglary case.
Deputies arrested Robins on May 25, the same day this investigation started. Deputies got a call around 12:53 p.m. from a woman who said she had been shot at on U.S. 192. Deputies responded to 4880 W. Irlo Bronson Memorial Highway (U.S. 192), and spoke to the victim, who told them she had been walking east on West 192 with her boyfriend and their one-year-old son when a vehicle pulled up next to them and came to a stop.
She recognized the driver as Robins, and told detectives that he rolled down the window and shot at her with a handgun. Robins then fled the area, she told deputies.
The victim wasn’t injured, but she immediately called police after Robins sped off.
According to the victim, she and her boyfriend had experienced a previous altercation with Robins, which may have prompted this attack, detectives said.
Robins had a felony warrant out for his arrest, because he was a suspect in a recent burglary case.
”Deputies were able to locate Robins at his mother’s residence, located at 2710 Bradley Drive in Poinciana,” said Twis Lizasuain, public information officer for the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office, in her report on the case.
”They also took into evidence from the residence a locked safe and gun holster,” Lizasuain added. “Robins did not cooperate with the investigation, but based on the victim’s statement and another witness’ statement and evidence recovered, Robins was charged with attempted murder and booked into the Osceola County Jail.”
A felony conviction strips individuals of certain civil rights, including the right to purchase or own a firearm. The law dates back to the Gun Control Act of 1968, passed by Congress in the same year that U.S. Sen. Robert Kennedy and Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. were assassinated.
If the felon’s conviction came under a state court, that person can ask to have their civil rights restored at the state level, although if the conviction involves certain violent crimes, it can’t be adjudicated by the state. If it involves a non-violent offense, the right to own a firearm could be restored. Convicted felons are also not allowed to take gun safety courses.
The Gun Control Act of 1968 defines a prohibited person as one who has been convicted or is under indictment for a term exceeding one year.
Contact us at FreelineOrlando@Gmail.com.