ROYAL PALM BEACH, Fla. – A South Florida man turned himself in to authorities Wednesday after a warrant was issued for his arrest following an altercation between the man and a fellow customer inside a Walmart store in Royal Palm Beach.
According to the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office, Vincent Bruce Scavetta, 28, got into a verbal dispute with another man on July 12 over him not wearing a mask before he pulled out a gun from his waistband and pointed it at the victim.
According to his arrest warrant, the victim told investigators that he was walking in the store with his daughter when he made a comment to Scavetta about him not wearing a mask.
The man said Scavetta began to curse at him and he told Scavetta not to curse in front of his young daughter.
Authorities said the victim told investigators that the argument escalated and both men exchanged multiple obscenities toward each other before a crowd of bystanders tried to defuse the situation.
According to authorities, the victim pointed an umbrella at Scavetta and Scavetta pulled out a gun and told the victim “he would kill him” before the men separated.
Deputies said Scavetta was with his elderly father who uses a wheelchair during the incident.
They said the father and son left the store shortly after the incident, but Scavetta contacted the Sheriff’s Office after footage of the incident was aired on various media outlets and identified himself as the man seen in the Walmart surveillance video.
Authorities said Scavetta was cooperative and said he wanted to give his side of the story.
According to his arrest warrant, Scavetta said it had been raining that day so he took off his mask because it was soaked and it was making it hard for him to breathe and fogging up his glasses.
Authorities said Scavetta said the victim told him he should really be wearing a mask, at which time he cursed at the man, saying “That’s bulls***. Don’t tell me what to f***ing do.”
Deputies said Scavetta acknowledged that he shouldn’t have cursed at the man, but said “it is what it is.”
According to the arrest warrant, Scavetta claims the man threatened him and his father and struck him with the tip of the umbrella on his forehead, which led him to pull out his gun because he was in fear for his life.
Detectives said Scavetta was asked whether any video/audio footage from Walmart would confirm his version of events, and he then began to back away from specifics, saying he didn’t recall and had been confused at the time.
According to the warrant, the victim told detectives he was not sure whether his umbrella touched Scavetta but said if it did, it occurred after Scavetta had already pulled out the gun.
Scavetta faces charges of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and improper exhibition of a firearm.