Man says neighbor threatened him, kids with machete, gun

Posted at 10:20 PM, Feb 21, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-21 22:23:07-05

A neighbor dispute in North Fort Myers led to a machete drawn and a gun shot, with children in the line of fire.

The incident happened on Bartholomew Drive.

Paul Haskett said his young kids were enjoying their President's Day off school, riding bikes and scooters in the street, when things quickly took a turn.

"They were scared to death. All my kids ran into the house. They were crying all night," Haskett said.

He said his next-door neighbor, John Warne, 48, ran out of his home enraged, claiming the kids were on his property.

"Started yelling 'If you don't get your kids, I'll run them over. I'll run every single one of them over,'" Haskett said.

Haskett started gathering his kids to get them inside. His 18-year-old daughter Elizabeth said they were standing in the street more than a hundred feet away from Warne's front door.

"He had a machete up in the air, swinging it. He was hollering 'Get off my property!' in the road," Elizabeth said.

"When I stood up, the gun went off," Haskett said.

"I seen the guy point the gun and everything, and bam, it happened like that. He's purposely trying to aim it at my dad," Elizabeth said.

Haskett's father instincts led him to push his son out of the way from the direction of the bullet.

"I shoved my son so hard that I shoved my youngest boy Damian out of his shoes," Haskett said.

"My dad just pushed me into the ditch because he didn't want me to get shot," 10-year-old Damian said.

Elizabeth called 911. Lee County deputies arrived, eventually arresting Warne for aggravated battery with a deadly weapon and possession of marijuana.

When Four in Your Corner stopped by his home, officials with the Department of Children and families were there investigating. Haskett said Warne has two kids.

"I was scared to death. I still am," Haskett said. "I don't use a gun, but I was born with two of them on my shoulders, and if he would have shot one of my children... I will not let him harm my children."

Warne is due in court on March 27th.