TV online editor: Bonita Springs man shot by deputy had made threats
By MARK S. KRZOS • email@example.com
• February 13, 2009
A Bonita Springs man made a series of calls threatening a local TV station, President Barack Obama and the Pentagon before a Lee County sheriff’s deputy shot and killed him Thursday.
Guy Howard Petrey, 47, of 11102 Torchfire Trail, Bonita Springs, died at his Rosemary Park residence after he confronted deputies who had initiated an investigation there, according to sheriff’s reports.
The Lee County Sheriff’s Office has not released the name of the deputy who shot Petrey or the reason for the initial investigation.
But according to Matt Bernaldo, the online editor at NBC-2, the investigation could have been the result of numerous threats Petrey made to the TV station.
“We had about a dozen calls from him Wednesday and one more Thursday,” Bernaldo said. “He was cursing at us, and I finally said, ‘If he calls again, just hang up.’”
But Petrey did call again and made threats against the Pentagon and the president. He also threatened to blow up NBC-2 if the station didn’t listen to him, Bernaldo said.
“When I heard the threat about the Pentagon, that’s when I thought we had better call it in,” Bernaldo said.
Bernaldo said Petrey wanted NBC-2 to assassinate Gov. Charlie Crist, apparently due to the governor’s support of the president’s economic stimulus package.
The president visited Fort Myers on Tuesday to pitch the $700 billion-plus package. Crist introduced him to a crowd of about 1,500 who gathered at a town hall meeting at Harborside Event Center to listen to Obama speak and to ask him questions.
At 9:44 a.m. Thursday, deputies arrived at Torchfire Trail in the Rosemary Park community of Bonita Springs.
“There was a confrontation, and as a result of that confrontation, one of our deputies shot this individual, who is now deceased,” Forrest said.
Rosemary Park, off Old U.S. 41, is a low-income neighborhood that in the past was known for its blighted areas. Residents say in the past five years, crime has subsided significantly.
Petrey had been charged in Lee with several crimes dating to 2000. His arrests ranged from grand theft and petty theft to trespassing on a construction site and marijuana possession, according to court and jail records.
The last time a law enforcement official shot and killed a suspect in Lee was Jan. 27, when two members of the U.S. Marshal’s Fugitive Task Force opened fire on Arthur Coleman in Fort Myers after the career criminal tried to run over an agent in his car.
The last time a Lee sheriff’s deputy shot and killed a suspect was Nov. 19, 2006, when Deputy Ali Zariv shot and killed Kennith Ready after Ready tried to drive off with the deputy hanging from the driver’s side window of Ready’s pickup.