In the state of Florida, the 2005 Stand Your Ground law is one that is taken very seriously. This law states, “A person who is not engaged in an unlawful activity and who is attacked in any other place where he or she has a right to be has no duty to retreat and has the right to stand his or her ground and meet force with force, including deadly force if he or she reasonably believes it is necessary to do so to prevent death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another or to prevent the commission of a forcible felony.” Because of this very law, Vincent Scavetta, of Lake Worth Beach was able to have all charges against him dropped after he pulled out a gun in a local Walmart.
On July 12th at a Royal Palm Walmart, Scavetta got into a verbal altercation with Christopher Estrada after Estrada asked him to put a mask on due to the current coronavirus outbreak. Words were exchanged and Estrada struck Scavetta with an umbrella, leading Scavetta to pull out of a .40 caliber handgun in the middle of the store and shout, “I’ll kill you.”
The argument was stopped and both parties were allowed to leave the store, but on July 22nd Scavetta turned himself in. He was arrested and charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, a third-degree felony and improper exhibition of a firearm, a first-degree misdemeanor when the incident occured.
After reviewing the store’s security footage it can be seen that the Stand Your Ground law had grounds as Estrada was threatening him with an umbrella. Due to the nature of the threat and how close he was to Scavetta, it can easily be argued that he was defending himself. Scarvetta stated that he was helping his handicapped father around the store and upon pushing his wheelchair through the rain, his mask had gotten soaked and was becoming hard to breath through, explaining why he had removed it in the first place.
After this incident, it became mandatory for all shoppers to wear masks inside Walmart stores across the country. Though the entire situation could have been avoided by Scavetta wearing a mask to comply with county mandates in the first place. If you or someone you know are being charged with a crime and believe your rights are being violated, seeking out the assistance of an experienced criminal defense attorney could be in your best interest. Russell Spatz has over four decades of experience in representing those who feel they are being charged wrongly. Give him a call today at (305) 442-0200 to set up your consultation.
Roustan, Wayne K., and Austen Erblat. “No Charges for Shopper Who Pulled a Gun in Walmart Mask Dispute.” Sun, South Florida Sun-Sentinel, 1 Sept. 2020, www.sun-sentinel.com/local/palm-beach/fl-ne-walmart-gun-charges-dropped-20200901-dkkknwn5mbdtlkbd75fg46tjwe-story.html.