Sheriff: Father, son shoot at innocent woman while looking for nonexistent burglar
WINTER HAVEN, Fla. (Gray News) - A Florida sheriff says a father and son are facing attempted murder charges after shooting at an innocent woman while searching for a person they thought wanted to burgle their home.
Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd described the incident as “really, really stupid” in a Monday press conference posted to Facebook.
“You just absolutely cannot believe. This ranks among the craziest stuff that I have seen in a while, and I’ve seen a lot of crazy stuff,” he said.
Judd says a resident in a Winter Haven apartment complex found a package Saturday morning that had been mistakenly delivered to his address, instead of that of 73-year-old Gino Colonacosta and his 15-year-old son.
Acting as a good Samaritan, the neighbor took the package containing medicine to the Colonacostas’ apartment, hung it on their front door and left.
The Colonacostas’ Ring doorbell camera notified the father and son that someone had approached their door. Judd says that the two assumed the person was a burglar, armed themselves with .45 caliber firearms and went outside to search for that nonexistent burglar.
About 100 yards from their house, Judd says the Colonacostas saw a woman in a dark-colored car with dark windows and engine running. He says the woman, whom he described as an innocent victim, was on her cell phone, “minding her own business.”
From behind the car, Gino Colonacosta pointed the gun at the woman and screamed for her to get out of the car, the sheriff says.
“She thinks, ‘He’s about to carjack me. He’s going to rob me,’” Judd said.
He says the woman put her car in reverse and tried to leave.
Colonacosta’s son heard the commotion and came over. Judd says he thought the victim was trying to back into him and began shooting at the car. That’s when Gino Colonacosta also began shooting at the car, the sheriff says.
The two allegedly shot at the car seven times total before the victim managed to speed away. She was not hit by any of the bullets, but one went through a baby’s car seat in the back of the car and lodged in the driver’s seat, according to Judd.
“Our victim was that close to death, and certainly, had there been a baby in the car seat, the baby would have been killed,” the sheriff said.
He called the Colonacostas’ alleged actions “way out of line, way out of control.”
Attempted murder charges are among the many charges the father and son face.
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