The two security guards who drove up to an apartment in the Carlton Arms complex Thursday night encountered this:
A man using his Ford Ranger truck as a battering ram, driving it into the sliding glass doors of an apartment. Nearby, a dazed security guard slumped inside a damaged car.
That's why the guards, Jean Casseus and Roosevelt Bembry, had every right to fire four shots at the Ford Ranger as it headed toward them and out of the apartment complex, deputies said Friday.
The man in the truck, Enrique Areu, was arrested by deputies after the security guards followed him out of the complex. He remained in jail Friday without bail.
"From all appearances, they were defending themselves," said Sheriff's Lt. Rod Reder.
Deputies said Areu rammed his ex-girlfriend's apartment while she and two small children were inside. They were not harmed.
Officials for the security company, Critical Intervention Systems of Clearwater, said their guards carry Smith & Wesson handguns. A company investigation found they acted appropriately.
CIS co-owner Tim O'Rourke said when Casseus and Bembry drove to the apartment, they saw their injured colleague, Christopher John, in the damaged car and called deputies.
John suffered neck and back injuries, but is expected to fully recover.
A few minutes after leaving the complex, Areu pulled into a gas station at Sligh and Central avenues. Deputies said he tried to ram gas pumps as they arrived.
Areu was charged with four counts of aggravated assault, felony criminal mischief and armed burglary of a dwelling.