Good Samaritan Faces Charges After Shooting
Jason Gutierrez Has Concealed Weapons Permit
POSTED: 6:02 pm EDT August 9, 2007
UPDATED: 6:55 pm EDT August 9, 2007
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- A good Samaritan who tried to catch two robbers ended up spending the night in jail.
Jason Gutierrez, 24, was charged with two counts of aggravated assault after police said he fired at the suspects with his 9mm handgun.
"I think it was ridiculous; he was just trying to help out," Paul Maffet, one of several co-workers outraged by the arrest, told Local 10's Roger Lohse.
The robbery happened Wednesday at the Inlet Liquor store on 17th Street in Fort Lauderdale. Gutierrez, who works in another business in the same shopping center, saw the suspects speed off and chased them in his car. At one point, the crooks drove down a dead-end street and when they turned around, Gutierrez got out of his car and shot at them, according to police.
The bullet missed and the suspects drove away, police said. They eventually crashed their car on AIA, south of Sunrise Boulevard, and were taken into custody, Local 10 reported.
Police arrested Gutierrez a short time later.
Police said the "Stand Your Ground" law passed two years ago allows people to use deadly force only if their life or someone's life is in danger.
Sgt. Gerald Machurick, with the Fort Lauderdale Police Department, told Lohse that citizens can't put themselves in a deadly situation.
"You can stand your ground and defend yourself. You can't be the aggressor and go out after them. That's charged to the police department, and basically he overstepped that boundary," said Machurick.
Gutierrez does have a concealed weapons permit and, despite a few traffic tickets, he has a clean criminal record, Lohse learned.