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Panhandle ‘protector’ shot at truck, yelled slurs, police say

More on the arrest of the man neighbors had callled a "hero".
Carl Kuhn walks through the streets of Callaway, Florida, where he is now known as “the hero of Fox Avenue” on Saturday, Oct. 20, 2018. Kuhn rescued his neighbors from the wreckage of their trailer during the eye of Hurricane Michael.
MATIAS J. OCNER mocner@miamiherald.com
Carl Kuhn walks through the streets of Callaway, Florida, where he is now known as “the hero of Fox Avenue” on Saturday, Oct. 20, 2018. Kuhn rescued his neighbors from the wreckage of their trailer during the eye of Hurricane Michael. MATIAS J. OCNER mocner@miamiherald.com
Published Oct. 29, 2018

Carl Kuhn, a Callaway resident neighbors call the Fox Avenue "hero," told reporters last week that he was arrested by Bay County deputies after he shot a rifle twice into the ground to scare off looters after Hurricane Michael.

At the time of publication, the Bay County Sheriff's Office said an official police report of the incident was inaccessible because of power-related issues in the building.

Over the weekend, an arrest report and affidavit were released on the sheriff's office Facebook page, alleging Kuhn had been drinking prior to the incident and shot the gun not into the ground, but at a man driving by.

Kuhn was arrested and charged with aggravated assault and discharging a firearm while intoxicated. He was held on $10,000 bond for five days, and was bailed out by Barfield Bail Bonds, a service based in Wewahitchka.

Ruth Corley, a spokeswoman for the sheriff's office, said deputies responded to a report of shots fired in the neighborhood at around 7 p.m. on Oct. 12 — just two days after the Category 4 storm smashed into the Panhandle.

The sheriff's office is contracted to provide law enforcement for Callaway, a town of 15,000.

A black truck pulled up in front of Kuhn's house, he told police, so he yelled at the two men inside to leave. He then fired two shots toward them to "scare them away" and protect his family and his property, he said.

Martin Cisneros, the man driving the truck, told police that he rents the house across from Kuhn's for work. Cisneros was trying to check on the house after the storm, but downed trees in the road prevented him from getting his truck through.

Cisneros, who is Mexican, told police he drove off after he heard Kuhn call him a racial slur and then fire two gunshots.

"It was apparent to the deputies that he appeared intoxicated," Corley said. Kuhn also candidly told police he had multiple beers before the incident.

Police confiscated two guns from Kuhn during the arrest — a Smith and Wesson pistol that was strapped to his chest and a rifle.

Before the storm, Kuhn told reporters that he visited each of his neighbors and asked if they were armed. Nobody was.

"I gave him a gun, I gave him a gun, I gave him a gun," he said then, pointing to the three homes across the street from his.

One of his neighbors, Steven Strassberger, said Carl gave him a .22 rifle.
Kuhn said he is due in court Nov. 26. He has no criminal history in Bay County, records show.

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