Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Orlando shooter Omar Mateen had a juvenile arrest record

This undated image provided by the Orlando Police Department shows Omar Mateen, the shooting suspect at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Fla., Sunday, June 12, 2016. The gunman opened fire inside the crowded gay nightclub early Sunday before dying in a gunfight with SWAT officers, police said. (Orlando Police Department via AP) NY116

Omar Mateen

This undated image provided by the Orlando Police Department shows Omar Mateen, the shooting suspect at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Fla., Sunday, June 12, 2016. The gunman opened fire inside the crowded gay nightclub early Sunday before dying in a gunfight with SWAT officers, police said. (Orlando Police Department via AP) NY116

Omar Mateen was arrested for beating up a classmate and experimented with marijuana in high school, according to documents released Thursday by the state.

In his application to become a prison guard, Mateen acknowledged the drug use as a juvenile and a fight in May 2001 while in math class at Martin County High School.

The fight led to misdemeanor charges of battery and disrupting a school function. The latter count was dropped and a judge withheld adjudication for battery.

Misdemeanor juvenile records are not public in Florida, so it's unclear how Mateen pleaded in the case.

"I did not get handcuffed and I did not go to jail," he wrote in his application to the Department of Corrections in 2006. "It was an experience of me growing up and I learned a big lesson from it."

Mateen, 29, killed 49 people and injured dozens of others at the Orlando gay bar Pulse on Sunday morning.

In the records released Thursday, Mateen was applying to become a prison guard at Martin Correctional Institution.

He was hired into a training program, earning about $550 a week and doing many of the same jobs as corrections officers. At the same time, he was enrolled in criminal justice courses at nearby Indian River Community College.

He was dismissed after about six months on the job at the prison; the state will not say why. Documents indicate he was terminated for an administrative reason unrelated to misconduct.

His application includes more than half a dozen recommendations from friends and neighbors who praised Mateen's judgment, work ethic and willingness to "give a hand if needed."

Port St. Lucie Police Officer Steve J. Brown, who met Mateen at a local Gold's Gym, wrote a personal letter to the state urging his hire.

"I would sleep soundly at night," Brown wrote, "knowing that a person like Omar is protecting us (from) the element which resides behind your concrete and steel walls."

Orlando shooter Omar Mateen had a juvenile arrest record 06/16/16 [Last modified: Thursday, June 16, 2016 8:25pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Investigators reviewing HHS chief's private charter flights

    Politics

    WASHINGTON — Federal investigators are examining Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price's recent use of costly charter flights on the taxpayers' dime for official business.

  2. FSU gives president John Thrasher a pay bump as its academic standing rises

    College

    TALLAHASSEE — With Florida State University moving closer to becoming a top-25 public university, the school's trustees on Friday bumped up President John Thrasher's salary by 7 percent and awarded him a $200,000 bonus.

    Florida State University President John Thrasher, center, is surrounded by lawmakers in 2016 as he visits the Florida Senate. Thrasher on Friday received a pay increase to go with the university's increased academic standing, including in the latest U.S. News & World Report ranking of public universities. FSU ranks 33rd this year, and is aiming for a top-25 spot. [SCOTT KEELER   |   Times]

  3. Pasco driver, 66, dies in Friday crash on SR 54

    Accidents

    NEW PORT RICHEY — A 66-year-old man died Friday after he collided with oncoming traffic on State Road 54 in Pasco County, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.

  4. Florida reverses decision to shield information from nursing home inspection reports

    Health

    TALLAHASSEE — Florida regulators decided Friday they will abandon the use of software that allowed them to heavily redact key words from nursing home inspection reports posted online, choosing instead to link to the more complete reports available on a federal site.

    Officials for the state Agency for Health Care Administration said Friday they will no longer use software that allowed them to heavily redact key words from nursing home inspection reports posted online. The agency has been under increased scrutiny since Sept. 13, when eight residents of The Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills, pictured here, died after power was lost to an air-conditioning system during Hurricane Irma. Two more residents died this week. [South Florida Sun-Sentinel]
  5. Trump's travel ban to be replaced by restrictions tailored to certain countries

    Nation

    WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump's ban on travelers from six majority-Muslim countries is set to be replaced as soon as this weekend with more targeted restrictions on visits to the United States that would vary by country, officials familiar with the plans told the New York Times on Friday.