Crime

‘I’ve shot people for less.’ Man pulls a gun after furniture delivered late, cops say

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Witnessing a crime and reporting it can be just as frightening as being the victim of a crime. Here’s what you should do if you witness illegal activity.
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Witnessing a crime and reporting it can be just as frightening as being the victim of a crime. Here’s what you should do if you witness illegal activity.

A 55-year-old Manatee County man was not happy when his furniture didn’t arrive on time so he pulled a gun on the delivery men, stating, “You know, I’ve shot people for less,” according to the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office.

Mitchell Helton was charged with two counts of aggravated assault on Aug. 3 and remains in the Manatee County jail on bonds totaling $5,000.

Deputies say the delivery men notified Helton ahead of time that they were on their way with the furniture he ordered from Furniture Warehouse. According to the report, the delivery men arrived to find the front door ajar and the men called out to Helton who immediately told them he was upset that it had taken so long to receive his delivery.

The men asked him if he wanted the furniture, at which time Helton said, “Do whatever you want,” as he retreated to his back bedroom, deputies say. The delivery men began to unloaded the furniture and deputies say Helton left his home with a gun in his hand and pointed it at both men.

The delivery men began to deescalate the situation and explained to Helton how to file a complaint over the late delivery and surprisingly continued to unpack and deliver the furniture, the report states. The two men at first, “dismissed his action as a show of anger toward the late delivery,” the report states, but they called law enforcement after the fact.

Helton told deputies that he was startled by someone trying to enter his home and retrieved his weapon to defend himself, according to the report. Deputies noted that Helton struggled with providing a consistent story.

According to the report, Helton admitted to taking the gun outside to confront the men, but he could not explain why he did so, nor could he explain why he called Furniture Warehouse instead of calling 911 if he was in fear for his safety.

Breaking News/Real Time Reporter Mark Young began his career in 1996 and has been with the Bradenton Herald since 2014. He has won more than a dozen awards over the years, including the coveted Lucy Morgan Award for In-Depth Reporting from the Florida Press Club and for beat reporting from the Society for Professional Journalists to name a few. His reporting experience is as diverse as the communities he covers.
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