A 52-year-old white female who resides on Poinciana Avenue in St Augustine was threatened with a loaded shotgun pointed under her chin by her landlord at about 7:00 p.m. last night, after she questioned him about prescription medication missing from her home.
The victim called 9-1-1, but disconnected before an operator could answer the call. St Augustine Police Officer Cecilia Aiple was dispatched to the location because of the hang-up.
“I was advised by dispatch to cancel, after the caller said it was an accidental pocket dial,” Aiple told Historic City News local reporters. “Due to a prior incident at that location I proceeded to continue to the call.”
Upon Officer Aiple’s arrival, she located the victim sitting on the landlord’s porch, talking on her cell phone, and apparently crying.
According to the victim’s written statement, obtained by police Sergeant Jennifer Michaux, she arrived home about 6:45 p.m. and found that her hall had been blocked off with barbed wire stapled to the wall. The victim stated that her prescribed medication was missing and earlier in the day, she asked her daughter to check around for the missing pills.
The victim walked next-door to the residence of her landlord, 28-year-old Joshua Benjamin Carter. She questioned Carter’s involvement in placing the barbed wire in her home and whether he had taken her medication.
Carter walked into his bedroom and returned with the shotgun. The victim reported that Carter “cocked the gun” and “placed the shotgun barrel up to her face”. The victim stated her mind went blank and she ran outside and told her 20-year-old daughter and her daughter’s boyfriend what had happened to her inside.
Additional officers responded to the scene, including police and sheriff’s deputies. Because of the fact that Carter is a convicted felon and was armed with a shotgun and two potential hostages, assistance was provided by a special response team, including a remote controlled robot.
Police repeated instruction over a patrol vehicle’s public address system, including instructions for the victim’s daughter and boyfriend to exit the residence, which they did. Police ordered Carter to exit, but he refused; barricading himself inside the residence for several hours.
The SRT team deployed gas inside Carter’s home in an effort to gain his compliance. After the fifth deployment of gas, Carter exited his bedroom and proceeded to call 9-1-1 to advise his home was on fire. Carter was instructed through dispatch to come out of the home. Ultimately, he exited the home and was checked by emergency medical personnel and then was secured.
The defendant’s home was searched for weapons by the detective division. A loaded shotgun was found inside the hall bathroom near the defendant’s bedroom. The shotgun was secured and placed into evidence.
Carter was charged with aggravated assault and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. He was transported to the St. Johns County Jail without further incident. He is being held without bond until his first hearing in the morning.