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Safety Harbor man charged in assault that involved stolen police gun.

A 22-year-old Safety Harbor man was recently arrested and charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, dealing in stolen property, and possession of a controlled substance.

According to police, while in his house, the 22-year-old man threatened to shoot a woman with a gun that was reported stolen out of a police vehicle.The woman left the house unharmed, then called the police and reported the incident. When police made contact with the 22-year-old man, he admitted that he knew the gun was stolen, but produced a bill of sale he received when he bought the gun from another person.

Police also report an 18-year-old man was also present at the time of the altercation and assisted the 22-year-old threaten the woman. The 18-year-old is also being charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.

Even though these men were arrested they should be considered lucky as the State is not charging them with aggravated assault with a firearm. If they were being charged with such a crime, they would be facing a minimum mandatory prison sentence. Since they are only charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, there is no minimum mandatory prison sentence, however the crime is still considered a third degree felony.

It raises eyebrows that the 18-year-old was also charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon even though he was not the individual to use the weapon in a threatening manner. The State would have to proceed under the principal theory of prosecution. That is, they would have to show that he did something in furtherance of the 22-year-old’s crime of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. The State would need to show how exactly he “assisted with the threatening.” The principal theory of prosecution is somewhat dangerous because an otherwise innocent person may be wrongly grouped with the truly guilty party by just being there, or simply “guilt by association.”

Any arrest as described above involving aggravated assault, possession of a controlled substance, or dealing in stolen property can carry serious consequences if not handled by an experienced Tampa assault lawyer or Clearwater defense attorney. Contact the attorneys at Roman & Roman today for a free consultation.

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