A Florida man was arrested after police say he beat his neighbor — and the neighbor’s dog — with the handle of an ax during a dispute over parking.
James Walton Gardner, 66, is now facing charges of armed burglary of a conveyance structure as well as aggravated assault and battery with a deadly weapon after police said he went to his neighbor’s house Thursday evening in a fit of rage over the number of parked cars on the street, according to The Gainesville Sun.
Gainesville Police first responded to Gardner’s home after he called authorities to complain that his neighbor’s friends were parking their cars between the two homes.
Police arrived to speak with Gardner but during the discussion he became enraged and allegedly shouted, “GPD doesn’t do anything! I’ll handle it myself like they do on the east side,” local station WEAR-TV reports.
About 10 minutes after the officers left, police said Gardner went to his neighbor’s home armed with an ax, according to an arrest report obtained by The Miami Herald.
When his neighbor answered the door, Gardner allegedly swung at him, striking him in the side of the head with the handle of the ax. As he continued to strike the man with the handle, the neighbor’s dog got into the fight and Gardner began to hit him with the ax handle as well, police claim.
The fight eventually spilled out onto the front yard. The dog bit Gardner in the leg and the neighbor was able to get the upper hand and pin Gardner to the ground while he punched him, according to the report.
The neighbor later told police that during the fight he saw Gardner pull out his gun and the two wrestled to gain control over the firearm.
Gardner told police he didn’t take out the firearm and had only been trying to make sure it didn’t fall out of his pants.
A neighbor was eventually able to break up the scuffle and authorities arrested Gardner, who was taken to a local hospital to be treated for his injuries.
Gardner suffered a swollen face, eye and ear during the altercation, according to the report. The neighbor reported his eye, ribs, and arm were swollen and bleeding. Neither man suffered any life-threatening injuries.
Gardner told police he had “acted out of anger” and regretted the violent confrontation, according to the report.
Gardner is currently being held at the county jail on a $265,500 bond.
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