LEHIGH ACRES, FLA — Two wheels, one motor and endless fun.
According to Corey Hampton, that's what a minibike used to represent to his teenage son.
"He don't even want to get on his bike and loves his bike," said Hampton,
Hampton says his son's attitude changed, after an almost deadly run-in with a neighbor on December 27.
He says it all started when 76-year-old George McCarty pulled up to his home, to complain about his son's bike.
This is what Hampton says McCarty said to him:
"I'm the property manager of the places in the back. You guys are riding the mini-bike through there. If I see it again, if I see it again or hear about it again, I'm calling the cops. And if you don't stop, I'm gonna shoot you," Hampton said.
Hampton tells FOX 4 that he told the man to leave and allowed his son to keep riding in the shared backyard.
"Next thing you know I could hear the truck in the back of the houses," said Hampton, "Once I got back there I could still see the truck and I see my son's eyes they were big as beep. And he's looking back and he tried to hurry up and turn the bike around. And I was like 'Oh this dude is not serious.'"
Eyewitness accounts from a Lee County Sheriff's Office report say that McCarty chased the teen in his truck. At some points he came within "inches of hitting him."
And while he had one hand on the wheel, the report says he was seen with a black revolver in the other.
That gun was later picked up by deputies.
"I could hear my son says 'He got a gun. He got a gun.' But it wasn't registering because I was still talking to him. And he's doing this and he's saying stuff and doing this. And I look real good and I was like 'You got a gun?' and he's like 'Yeah and I'm gonna shoot..." he said.
McCarty was picked up by LCSO later that night and charged with two counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.
He bonded out of jail the next day.
Corey also says the response from the sheriff's office that night added insult to injury.
"It literally took them like 3 and half hours until the detectives got here. I didn't know you had to have a detective to arrest someone," he said.
And he adds that McCarty's bond amount of $4,000 allowed him to get out as quickly as he did.
"I know for 100 percent fact by me being black, had it been the other way around my whole house would have been surrounded, guns drawn on me and my kids, with no care of who's in the house or what and I would have been arrested. And the detective probably would have seen me downtown," he said.
We reached out to LCSO with those concerns and they released the following statement:
Regarding this call for service, LCSO deputies responded timely and appropriately. Being “formally arrested” versus “detained” is not something we would expect the average citizen to be aware of at an active scene. Deputies on scene determined this incident required investigation by members of our Criminal Investigations Division, which resulted in detectives being dispatched to assume the investigation. Detectives arrived on scene, conducted interviews, gathered the facts, and determined they would need a search warrant to search the suspect’s vehicle. Detectives drafted a search warrant, submitted it to a duty judge, and were subsequently granted the warrant. At the conclusion of the investigation, McCarty was arrested and booked at the Lee County Jail on two (2) counts of Aggravated Assault With A Deadly Weapon. Those charges were found to be appropriate and met the elements of Florida State Statutes based upon the facts revealed during the investigation.
In cases like this, which require a detective respond, it is not out of the ordinary for deputies and detectives to remain on scene investigating for several hours. Our deputies and detectives take pride in their work, and exercise due diligence in conducting thorough investigations.
Allegations of “kindness” and “leniency” will not be addressed, as Lee County deputies are taught, trained, and expected to treat all citizens respectfully and fairly, regardless of the citizen’s role during incidents deputies respond to.
But Hampton doesn't agree.
"If you give a guy like that that much leeway and let them get away with it, what you think he's gonna do next," he said.
In the meantime, he adds that all of his kids are now afraid to play outside.
"I'm thinking about moving because the guy lives right there," he said.
We tried to reach out to McCarty, but were unable to get in touch with him.
He's due back in court on January 25.