Florida landlord fought deputy after locking tenants in garage, sheriff’s office says

Lawrence Cohen, 66 (Volusia County Sheriff's Office)

ORANGE CITY, Fla. – A man who fought with a deputy after locking three people in a garage he was renting was arrested Tuesday at his home near Orange City, according to the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office.

According to Local 10′s Orlando news partner, WKMG, at around 3:41 p.m., deputies were called to the home of Lawrence Cohen, 66, on North Sparkman Avenue responding to a 911 call from a man who said his landlord, had locked him and two others inside of the room he was renting at the home — a refitted garage.

Deputies said they had been called to the home earlier that same day. At the time, Cohen claimed to have a weapon, but it was later determined to be a BB gun, records show.

On a 911 call, a man can be heard telling dispatchers that Cohen was threatening to kill anyone who tried to exit the garage through the home, which deputies noted was the only way out as the garage door did not work.

“There’s a lock on the garage door, we can’t open it to go out that way,” the 911 caller said. “He said if we go into the house to try and exit that way, he’s gonna kill us.”

Hear the 911 call:

Deputies spoke with Cohen through a door to the home, according to a charging affidavit, and said he wanted the tenants out. However, investigators said Cohen refused to allow deputies to walk the three people out of the home.

After making contact with the victims in the garage, a deputy kicked the front door open, according to the affidavit.

In the kitchen, the deputy confronted Cohen, who ignored orders to put his hands behind his back, records show.

Deputies said they were forced to hit Cohen and shock him with a Taser at least two times before he could be cuffed.

The three people inside were freed after about two hours, deputies said.

Cohen faces charges of resisting an officer without violence and three counts of false imprisonment.

About the Author:

Brandon, a UCF grad, joined the ClickOrlando team in November 2021. Before joining News 6, Brandon worked at WDBO.