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Deputies: Man accused of shooting at boaters over the Fourth of July weekend has done so before

Residents concerned for well-being after a man shot at boaters for a second time over the weekend
Posted at 6:23 PM, Jul 06, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-07 05:38:54-04

PUNTA GORDA, Fla. — We are learning more about a man who investigators say fired at a boat in Charlotte County that had five people on it in the canal behind his home, over the Fourth of July weekend.

According to the Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office, Dennis Fair was accused of a similar incident in April when a boater reported that fair had pointed a gun at him and fired in his direction on the same canal.

That canal is located in the back of Fair's home on Marlin Drive near Punta Gorda on Sunday. 82-year-old Fair bonded out of jail and is back home. Now the question some are asking investigators is how to prevent this from happening again.

"I heard 'pow,' it’s very distinct, a firework from a gun," one neighbor said, still shaken up after what they say happened Sunday afternoon. "I ran over and I looked down his property line," where the neighbor says they saw Fair down by the water arguing with the gentleman Fair had shot at.

The Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office says Dennis fired a gun towards a boat going through the canal, adding that witnesses said they saw Fair waving a black, semi-automatic pistol at them and yelling obscenities.

Investigators say the boaters told them Fair appeared to be intoxicated.

Another resident said this isn't the first time something like this has happened in the area.

"This is the second time this has happened and here we are again ... this should have been taken care of the first time," they said.

CCSO confirmed Fair was accused of a similar incident in April.

Residents said they were frustrated with the sheriff's office. "You’re getting calls like this and brushing them off," a resident said. "How quickly are the deputies going to get here when somebody is hit by one of those bullets?"

We reached out to CCSO regarding these claims and have requested records; we're still waiting to hear back.

Prosecutors have charged Fair with multiple counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon without intent to kill, a felony, along with using a firearm while under the influence of alcoholic beverages.

CCSO has confirmed that Fair's guns have been confiscated under the Red Flag Law.