SARASOTA -- A convicted felon was charged with threatening a couple with a gun after they yelled at him to slow his car down on their residential street, according to the Sarasota County Sheriff's Office.
The victims were in their front yard with their children Saturday evening in the 2000 block of Ringling Boulevard in Sarasota when Willie James Lewis Jr., 28, drove down their street at a high speed, according to an arrest report. When Lewis sped back up the street a couple minutes later, the father yelled at him to slow down.
Lewis pulled over and the two "exchanged words" before the suspect drove off again, deputies said.
The woman decided to walk up the road to try to get a tag number for law enforcement. The suspect's vehicle started approaching and pulled over, this time with Lewis in the passenger seat, and he pointed a gun at her and told her to, "mind your business," according to the report.
The car then sped off towards her street and the victim began to run, screaming to her husband and children that Lewis had a gun. The car drove slowly past the man and his children, and the man said the suspect was pointing a gun at him as the car drove by.
Deputies found the suspect vehicle on Webber Street and identified Lewis, who had recently been released from prison for convictions of armed robbery and selling cocaine and therefore cannot legally posses a weapon.
The woman driving the vehicle gave consent to law enforcement to search, where they found an empty and full gun magazine and ammunition strewn about the car, according to the report.
A deputy searching the area nearby found a firearm that matched the magazine and ammunition found in the vehicle. Both victims also positively identified Lewis.
Lewis said in interviews with investigators that he did not have a gun and never pointed a gun at anyone. He said he felt threatened by the victim, who "came at him with racial slurs." He did not want to discuss the ammunition or magazines found in the car.
Lewis was charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. He was released from the Sarasota County jail on Sunday on $47,500 bond.