A Manatee County woman who authorities said openly carried a shotgun into a public parking lot has been arrested and charged with aggravated assault and carrying a weapon openly.
Authorities say Christine Mary Burgarella, 56, who lives in the Pinehurst Village Condominiums in the 100 block of Pinehurst Drive, allegedly threatened two men landscaping near her property.
The incident began at 3:28 p.m. Monday with a phone call to police about a woman armed with a shotgun, according to a Manatee County Sheriff’s Office report.
When a deputy knocked on Burgarella’s door, she answered and told him she has a right to bear arms since she has been a victim of a crime in the past.
The deputy reportedly told Burgarella she “...did not have the right to point it at anyone unless she was in fear.”
Burgarella reportedly told the deputy that she has the right to defend her property.
“I will not let them on my property,” she told the deputy, speaking of two men mowing the condo grounds.
An investigation determined Burgarella walked out to her car with the shotgun and then sat on her porch as the two men were working.
The victims reportedly were trimming trees outside Burgarella’s residence when she came out with a shotgun and began yelling at them. She reportedly had the shotgun in the air and walked around her car three times before stopping on her hood and resting on it.
The victims reported Burgarella leveled the shotgun at them and yelled: “Get out of here.” Fearing ear for their lives, they fled. After Burgarella was arrested, a .410 Taurus shotgun was observed by the deputy with the hammer locked back and a live round in the chamber.
Burgarella was in the Manatee County jail Tuesday on $3,120 bond, according to the sheriff’s office website.