MANATEE A Bradenton man who works as a security guard was charged with aggravated assault early Sunday after he heard people were urinating in his yard, rushed home, incited a fight and shot a gun into the ground, according to the Manatee County Sheriff's Office.
Karl Yaphet Aponte-Cruz, 21, rushed home from work at 12:37 a.m. after he was told that his neighbor was hosting a house party and people were urinating in his front yard in the 1200 block of 35th Avenue West, according to an arrest report. When Aponte-Cruz arrived home he grabbed his pistol and walked to his neighbor's house.
The neighbor was sitting outside and the two started to argue, deputies said. The victim said Aponte-Cruz eventually pointed the gun at his head, about two inches away, and said he was going to shoot him. He repeatedly accused the victim of urinating in his yard.
About 15 people began to fight on the front lawn, and during the scuffle Aponte-Cruz fired the gun at the ground to warn people to stay out of his yard, according to the report. He then hid the gun underneath a plastic pool on his porch, which deputies collected as evidence.
When deputies arrived they said Aponte-Cruz "went on a rant," saying he rushed home because of people urinating in his yard, saw eight people in front of his neighbor's house and grabbed his gun for protection. He said he put the gun in his waistband and walked over to confront the group, and that a fight broke out while he was still on his property. He said he fired the warning shot to protect himself and his family.
Aponte-Cruz also said that he was a security guard, though the arrest report did not list where, and said he wasn't afraid to tell deputies about the gun because he was standing his ground.
Aponte-Cruz was charged with aggravated assault and is being held in the Manatee County jail without bond.