Englewood man accused of firing shotgun at juveniles

Published: Nov. 18, 2022 at 12:11 PM EST
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PUNTA GORDA, Fla. (WWSB) - An Englewood man is in jail after deputies say he fired a shotgun at three people in Punta Gorda Thursday evening.

Charlotte County deputies received a 911 call from three juveniles driving in The Ranchettes area, who said there were being chased by a man in a pickup truck.

After meeting with the juveniles at a safe location, they told deputies they were approached by the man in a red Dodge pickup on Grove Boulevard when he got out of the pickup with a shotgun, spewing vulgarities. The juveniles quickly backed up and turned around to get away from the suspect.

In an attempt to get away, the victims drove into oncoming traffic at Duncan Road and Bermont Road. They said they heard four shotgun blasts as they sped away toward Arcadia. They continued on Duncan Road until they no longer saw the suspect following behind and safely met with law enforcement.

Deputies searched the area and found the pickup parked with one occupant inside near Grove Boulevard and Maris Road. According to the sheriff’s office, when commands were given to show his hands, the suspect put the truck in reverse and fled. The vehicle was followed for less than two minutes when it pulled into a path to a property on Maris Drive, where he abandoned the truck and ran toward a fifth-wheel camper.

Additional deputies arrived and the suspect, identified as Steven C. Whitney, was arrested.

During a search, deputies say they found an unspent 12-gauge shotgun shell in Whitney’s pocket, numerous other spent shells on the ground. Search warrants w a black 12 gauge pump-style shotgun, ammunition, spent handgun casings, and clothing that matches the description by the victims.

Whitney is charged with possession of a firearm, ammunition or weapon by a convicted felon, fleeing or attempting to elude a law enforcement officer, resisting an officer without violence, DUI, driving with a suspended license and failing to register a motor vehicle.