Florida man accused of shooting kid’s basketball because it hit his fence

LAKE COUNTY, Fla. — A Lake County man has been arrested after deputies say he threatened two children with a gun and shot the basketball they were playing with because it was hitting his fence.


Lake County deputies responded to a home in Umatilla just before 8 p.m. on Jan. 31 after a parent of one of the children reported that the the kids were hiding in a back room of the home because they said they had been threatened with a gun.

Responding deputies say they made contact with 64-year-old Dale Barnes who admitted to getting into an argument with the children earlier in the day.

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According to an incident report, Barnes told deputies he was sitting on his porch at approximately 3 p.m. while the two kids were passing a basketball back-and-forth. Barnes said the ball kept hitting the fence that was directly in front of him, so he walked around to confront the children.

Deputies say Barnes admitted that “he was angry” so he pulled out a .22 Magnum revolver and shot the basketball one time. Barnes said he then put the gun back in his pocket and sat back down on the porch as the kids ran away.

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Deputies noted that Barnes, the children, and their parents all lived in the house together.

One of the victims told investigators that after Barnes shot the basketball, he then pointed the gun at them and said that they were going to be next. That’s when the kids said they ran in through the back of the home and hid from Barnes who was in the front of the home, yelling for the kids to come out to him.

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The father of one of the children told deputies Barnes had a history of being violent towards the children and threatening them.

Barnes was eventually placed under arrest and charged with two counts each of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and child abuse.

He’s being held in the Lake County jail on a total of $8,000 bond.

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