Armed vandal targets Matlacha community

Posted at 6:31 PM, Jul 17, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-18 09:00:08-04

Community members are seeking justice after an armed vandal broke into and damaged two businesses, a public restroom and one home early Sunday morning.

Owner of CW Fudge Factory, William Tidball, said he received a phone call from police around 5:30 a.m. saying someone was trying to break into his store.

The vandal damaged both doors to the fudge shop and the door to the Perfect Cup coffee shop next door.

But the vandal didn't stop there. He then went to a home on Cay Cove and broke in destroying everything he saw. 

Blood covers the floor and walls, marking a trail throughout the house.

The owner of that home was in the hospital the night of the break in. Peter Calosso, a friend from down the street, is helping to fix the place up after so much damage was done.

"His wife just passed away. You know stuff that was left of hers is all busted," said Calosso.

Doug Bywater is an employee from Perfect Cup coffee shop and was in the area that night. He received a text from a friend saying someone was trying to break into his boat.

Bywater went out and found the person who he believes is the suspect and tried to stop him, when he saw the man had a gun.

Bywater said, "I tackled the guy, got the gun from him and then he jumped up and was running like, 'I'm going to kill myself."

After chasing the vandal down the street, Bywater called police and they put the man into protective custody.

The Lee County Sheriff's Office says this is an active investigation. We keep you updated with more information as it becomes available.