2 arrested in Daytona Beach after deputies mistake lighter for gun

2 arrested in Daytona Beach after deputies mistake lighter for gun

VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. — Two Volusia County men are facing charges after they were caught with what deputies thought was a gun.

It turned out to be a cigarette lighter that just looked like a gun.

The men told Channel 9 the whole situation was a misunderstanding

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Bryan Diaz said his friends, Terry Howard and Uleseyc O’Neal, were using the lighter when they were arrested at his Daytona Beach apartment Tuesday night.

According to an arrest report, a Volusia County deputy saw the men shining a laser in the eyes of motorists while they were driving on Williamson and LGPA boulevards.

The deputy followed the men in his unmarked truck to the Carolina Club Apartments and thought he saw a gun in one of the men's hands.

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The deputy took cover behind his vehicle.

He called in a K-9 unit and had officers remove Howard's wife at gunpoint from the car.

Officers found the men inside one of the apartments and made an arrest, but they never found a gun, only a lighter.

Howard said the situation never should have escalated like it did.

“If he would have just said he was a police officer, it would have been done. It would have been dead. I would have shown him it was a lighter and it would have been over with,” he said.

Police charged Howard and O’Neal with pointing a laser light at drivers.

It's the first felony arrest for both men, who have hired an attorney and plan to fight the charges.

The Volusia County Sheriff's Office did not comment on the complaint.