“GPD doesn’t do anything. I’ll handle it by myself like they do on the east side.”
Those were the words of a Florida man who, about 10 minutes after yelling that at Gainesville police, used an ax handle to beat a neighbor and his dog, according to the arrest report.
James Walton Gardner, 66, was arrested Friday morning and charged with armed burglary of a conveyance structure as well as both aggravated assault and battery with a deadly weapon. Jail records show he’s being held on $265,500 bond.
Gainesville police responded Thursday evening to Gardner’s home after he called to complain about the parking of his neighbors’ friends’ cars. The sexagenarian soon became enraged, yelling that the police didn’t know anything.
He then went inside his home and refused to speak with the officers, according to the report.
The police left and, roughly 10 minutes later, Gardner was knocking on his neighbor’s door, ax in hand. When the door opened, he swung the ax handle and struck the neighbor in the left side of his head, officers say.
A fight ensued with Gardner continuing to hit his neighbor with the handle. The neighbor’s dog eventually joined in the fray and the 66-year-old attacker began striking the canine as well, according to the report.
As the altercation spilled out onto the front yard, the dog bit Gardner in the leg. Somehow the neighbor managed to pin his attacker to the ground and began punching him, police say.
The neighbor alleged that Gardner then drew his gun, which the two wrestled over until a witness broke up the scuffle, according to the report.
Gardner later told police that he never pulled the firearm, claiming that he always carried it and only reached for it to ensure it didn’t fall out of his pants. The witness also said that the 66-year-old never drew the gun, according to police.
While being treated for his injuries at a local hospital, Gardner added that he “acted out of anger” and regretted confronting his neighbor, the report says.