Public urination in Punta Gorda leads to lethal threat

CREATED Dec. 16, 2013

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PUNTA GORDA, Fla. - Punta Gorda police arrested a Port Charlotte man after a brief vehicle chase ended in a crash early Sunday morning.

The  incident started when 73-year-old John Thomas Burns got into an argument with several pedestrians who confronted him about urinating in public near the Wyvern hotel.

Witnesses told police Burns said, "Would you like a .45 in the chest?" and began scouring through the center console of his vehicle.

Burns fled the scene when he saw people getting on their phones.  Police tried to stop Burns near U.S. 41 and Melbourne Street.  Police say he sped up to 100 m.p.h. before crashing into a ditch at Hancock Boulevard and U.S. 41.

A search of his vehicle yielded a loaded .45 caliber Glock 21 handgun.

Burns admitted to drinking and taking other controlled substances.  He was charged with fleeing to elude, DUI and resisting arrest without violence.