Crestview, Florida

From the Fort Walton Beach Daily News of November 21, 2007

Suspect’s case closed after owner held him at gunpoint

The state attorney’s office will not pursue charges brought by Michael Joseph McCreary

An 18-year-old arrested in October for trespassing on another man’s property and breaking into his vehicles won’t get to press charges against the owner, who held him at gunpoint until lawmen arrived.

The teen, Michael Joseph McCreary, had his case closed last week by the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office.

He had approached deputies on Nov. 14 with his mother to file a complaint for aggravated assault and battery against the owner of the property on Reinke Drive — Victor E. Mikell — for using excessive force in detaining him in an Oct. 28 incident.

McCreary said Mikell hit him with the butt of a rifle, held the barrel at his head, drug him into a driveway and threatened to kill him while he waited for law enforcement to arrive.

But Mikell told investigators he had “heard shots” coming from the back of his property and went to investigate. That’s when he found McCreary and two other men fleeing after allegedly breaking into vehicles and stealing property from Mikell’s wooded land.

Mikell said he raised his rifle to his shoulder and yelled at McCreary to stop or he would shoot, and McCreary stopped.

But he soon became belligerent and acted like he might take off again, Mikell said, so he hit McCreary in the stomach with the butt of the rifle and marched him to the driveway, where he kept him face-down on the ground until lawmen arrived.

Mikell said this all took place while he was hearing gunfire from the woods on his property.

Sheriff’s deputy Jennifer Bellamy contacted assistant state attorney Bobby Elmore and gave both accounts of the incident, according to the report. But Elmore said his office would not file criminal charges against Mikell.

The case was approved closed on Nov. 15.

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