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Veteran Charged With Assaulting Off-Duty Firefighter

Associated Press

April 20, 2010

BUFORD, GA — A Vietnam veteran in still incarcerated after an incident where he fired a handgun and assaulted an off-duty firefighter with a walking cane outside of his Buford home Thursday.

The man, who police said is considered “50 percent mentally disabled” and possibly suffering from post traumatic stress disorder, reportedly fired his semi-automatic pistol in order to get the firefighter’s attention as he drove by the home on Duncan Creek Road.

According to police, the Gwinnett County firefighter then turned around to ask the man if he had in fact been trying to get his attention. The firefighter reported that at this point the elderly man began yelling at him about driving too fast, saying that his son “was twice his size and his son would tear his head off.”

When police arrived, the military veteran said that he did nothing wrong and could fire a weapon on his property if he wanted to. His wife told police that he is on numerous medications and sees a psychiatric doctor, who had advised that all weapons be removed from the home.

In addition to the original .45-caliber handgun, police found a knife with a four-inch blade in the suspect’s pocket, and another handgun inside the residence.

He was booked on charges of discharging a firearm near a public road and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.