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Eff you, Florida

Stop us if you’ve heard this one before. Gun-toting Real American Hero Florida Man is just minding his own business and patrolling his charming suburban subdivision, packing heat as one does in Florida, when he sees a dangerous teenager, and, by the power vested in him by his volunteer neighborhood watch group, goes after the teenager, and then shoots the teenager in self-defense. And it’s perfectly legal, because Florida. The difference, this time, is that (a) the shooter isn’t George Zimmerman, and (b) the kid isn’t dead:

A teenager is recovering at Orlando Regional Medical Center Wednesday after being shot by a Lake County man who allegedly witnessed him burglarizing a home.

According to the Lake County Sheriff’s Office, Florida Man was strolling through his neighborhood with Mrs. Florida Man, on the appropriately named Cavalier Court, when he noticed something was amiss! A suspicious youth was suspiciously in his neighborhood, behaving suspiciously, like he was casing the place. And then he spied this suspicious kid in his neighbor’s backyard. So did Florida Man or his wife reach for their cellular telephones and call the police? Heck no, this is Florida, man!

The husband grabbed a gun and moved in for a closer look inside the home in the Grand Island area between Leesburg and Eustis. As he peered through a broken window, the intruder heaved a television through it.

The alleged burglar — later found to be a 16-year-old boy, apparently unarmed — spotted him and bolted, sheriff’s Lt. John Herrell said. The husband ordered the intruder to stop and get on the ground. But the youth, he told police, charged toward him. […]

No criminal charges are expected against the neighbor because of the circumstances, he said.

“When the witness confronted him and the suspect charged, the witness told us he was in fear for his life and acted to defend himself,” Herrell said. “The neighbor was doing what he thought was the right thing.”

Good thing Florida Man only managed to shoot the unarmed 16-year-old in the shoulder. A mere flesh wound, not a fatality. Not that it would matter, because, like the po-po said, Florida Man was simply doing what he thought was right. And in Florida, that’s reason enough to go after suspicious looking kids, guns a-blazin’. And even if he had shot the kid to death, well, isn’t it worth it, to save a stolen TV? Florida Man’s neighbors think so:

“Yeah, that’s awesome,” said resident Charlene Coomer. “I know that he is part of the Neighborhood Watch. We have lived here for three years and we have never had anything like this.”

“He did what he thought was right and I believe it too,” resident Phillip Elliot said. “He was trying to help out his fellow neighbor, that’s what he was doing.”

Awesome! Just being a good neighbor. And that kid probably wouldn’t have gotten shot if he hadn’t charged (allegedly, although the cops seem to think this is a proven fact) at Florida Man. But hey, you make your local neighborhood watchman nervous, that’s what you get.

No word yet on whether Florida Man’s grateful neighbors are planning a parade in honor of their new “hero,” but being Florida, we figure he should at least get some celebratory gunfire, since apparently most of his neighbors are armed too. You know, for the safety of the neighborhood.

[WFTV via Rawstory / Orlando Sentinel]

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