DUNEDIN, Fla. – A Florida man who shot a rifle at his pool cleaner after mistaking the man for an intruder will not face charges, officials said.
Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri said during a news conference Monday that the owner of the Dunedin home had a right to fire on someone who he believed posed a threat to him and his wife under a self-defense law commonly referred to as “stand your ground.” Dunedin is located on the Gulf of Mexico near Tampa.
A husband and wife were watching a movie around 9 p.m. on June 15 when the wife heard noises from the pool lanai and observed someone she didn’t recognize on the pool deck, Gualtieri said. The woman told her husband, who yelled for the man to get out and to go away several times.
According to detectives, the wife called 911, and the man retrieved an AR-15 rifle from their bedroom. The couple observed a flashlight coming toward the door, prompting the husband to fire twice, officials said. Shrapnel from the bullet and glass struck the pool cleaner, who ran away while the husband continued to fire.
The pool cleaner was taken to a hospital with minor injuries, investigators said.
“In hindsight, he should have probably let them know he was coming at 9 o’clock at night, yet he made no effort to contact them at all,” Gualtieri said.