A Florida man at the center of an argument over face coverings at a Walmart is facing charges after he pulled a gun from his waistband and pointed it at another shopper, authorities said.
Vincent Bruce Scavetta, 28, of Lake Worth Beach, was charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and improper exhibition of a firearm, according to the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office.
According to an arrest report, Scavetta was approached by Christopher Estrada, 46, of West Palm Beach, who was shopping with his young daughter. Estrada asked Scavetta to put on a mask because of the coronavirus, the Sun-Sentinel reported.
Estrada told deputies that Scavetta began cursing at him, made an obscene gesture and pulled a gun from his waistband, the newspaper reported. According to the arrest report, Scavetta then said, “I’ll kill you,” before aiming the Smith & Wesson .40 caliber semi-automatic weapon at the man’s head.
The exchange was caught on the Walmart surveillance cameras, WPTV reported.
Scavetta told investigators it was raining when he arrived at the store and that his mask became wet, making it difficult for him to breathe. He said he had to walk from one end of the store to the other entrance while pushing his father in a wheelchair, the Sun-Sentinel reported.
According to the arrest report, Scavetta claimed Estrada hit him with the tip of an umbrella, prompting him to curse and pull out his weapon.
The two eventually separated, and Walmart employees unlocked a door to allow Scavetta and his father to leave, the Sun-Sentinel reported.
According to investigators, a co-worker contacted Scavetta after recognizing him in a Crime Stoppers report, WPEC reported. Scavetta then called the Sheriff’s Office and told them the argument had nothing to do with Palm Beach County’s face mask mandate or his Second Amendment rights. Scavetta does have a permit to carry a concealed weapon, the Sheriff’s Office said.
Edgar Moses, a former DEA agent who witnessed the encounter, told investigators he did not hear how the argument started but attempted to intervene.
Moses said he heard Scavetta shout at Estrada, “you don’t know what I’ve got!” before pulling his gun and aiming it, the Sun-Sentinel reported.
Scavetta is being held at the Palm Beach County Jail without bail, according to jail records.
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