LAND O'LAKES — The 51-year-old man who was shot last weekend in a road rage incident has been arrested on charges of starting the altercation.
Douglas Bradley of Land O'Lakes faces a charge of burglary with assault or battery in connection with the incident, which happened about 5 p.m. Saturday in the parking lot of the Collier Commons Plaza at 2121 Collier Parkway. Deputies say Bradley reached through an open driver's side window and punched 75-year-old John Michael O'Mara in the face.
O'Mara responded by firing one shot from his .38 caliber revolver, hitting Bradley in his right shoulder.
"We feel the victim in this case (O'Mara) was in fear for his life and acted in self defense," said Pasco County Sheriff's Office spokesman Doug Tobin. Asked whether the case might fall under Florida's "Stand Your Ground" law, Tobin said that determination would be up to the State Attorney's Office.
Bradley, who was treated at an area hospital for the gunshot wound, was booked in the Pasco County Jail shortly after 4:30 p.m. Tuesday. He remained there Wednesday afternoon in lieu of $30,000 bail.
The arrest report says the dispute began when O'Mara made a left turn in front of Bradley's car, causing him to hit the brakes. Bradley then began following O'Mara's car.
O'Mara told deputies he heard a horn honking and noticed the car following him closely.
While O'Mara waited at a red traffic light, Bradley got out of his car and confronted him, the report said.
A witness told deputies that Bradley was "yelling and cursing" at O'Mara, then punched him.
O'Mara shot Bradley, then drove home and called 911.
Bradley told deputies that he did turn his car around and pursue the person who "cut him off," the report said. He also admitted to reaching into O'Mara's car without permission and struggling with him.
Burglary with assault or battery is a first-degree felony in Florida. Records show Bradley, who was listed as unemployed, has no previous arrests in Florida.
Times researcher Natalie Watson contributed to this report.