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  1. Hernando

Brooksville man who pointed gun at student on school grounds makes plea deal for fines, probation

Robert Browsky [Hernando County Sheriff's Office]
Robert Browsky [Hernando County Sheriff's Office]
Published Aug. 15, 2019

A Brooksville man accused of pointing a gun at a teenager in a high school parking lot last year will serve no jail time after pleading no contest earlier this week to several charges.

Robert Browsky, 67, faced charges of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, trespassing on school property with a weapon and possession of a firearm on school property. The first two charges carry up to five years in prison with a conviction.

Browsky's plea came on Aug. 13, according to court records. A judge agreed to withhold judgement and ordered Browsky to pay about $1,500 in fines and fees. Court records show Browsky paid the following day.

He'll also have to serve five years of probation, which includes 100 hours of community service and requires him to surrender his concealed weapons permit, according to court records.

Browsky was arrested Nov. 28, a day after Hernando County Sheriff's deputies said he pulled a gun on a teenage student in the parking lot of Hernando High School. Browsky admitted to a school resource officer that he pointed his gun at a student, according to Sheriff's Office records, but told deputies he feared for his safety.

The incident was muddied by accounts from teenage witnesses that conflicted with Browsky's, and by the fact that it began with an off-campus argument between Browsky and the student before spilling over to school grounds.

The 17-year-old student and Browsky both told deputies the incident began when the teenager, on his way to school, drove past Browsky, who was walking his dog near his Mount Fair Avenue home. Browsky said the teen sped by him, and when he motioned for him to slow down, the teen reversed several hundred feet, rolled down his window, and launched into rant that included threats to beat Browsky.

Browsky assumed the teen was a student at the nearby high school, according to an arrest report, so he walked home, got in his truck and drove to the school to complain about the teen. After parking in the student parking lot, he tried to take a picture of the teen's truck, but he told deputies the teen tried to grab his phone. When that happened, Browsky told deputies, he reached into his own truck's center console, grabbed his loaded .380 Smith & Wesson handgun and pointed it at the teen.

The teenager told deputies that Browsky first approached him at a stop sign that morning, yelling at him to slow down. The teen said he responded by telling Browsky to "shut up" and swearing at him. Later, he said, he was sitting in a friend's car in the parking lot when he noticed Browsky trying to take pictures of his truck's license plate. He walked over and put himself between Browsky and the truck, causing Browsky to give up, he said.

The student tried to take a picture of Browsky, he told deputies, with plans to report the man to school officials. Then he noticed Browsky coming at him with a gun.

"You're going to shoot me on school property?" the teen said he asked Browsky. "Are you kidding me?"

Browsky left the student parking lot and reappeared a few minutes later in the school's front office, where a witness identified him as a man who'd been reported wielding a gun in the parking lot. The teen's friend later told deputies he'd seen the teen confront Browsky, but that he hadn't tried to grab or knock away the man's phone.

Deputies seized Browsky's gun as evidence but did not arrest him immediately. Sheriff Al Nienhuis later said his office wanted to make sure it was "comfortable" with the parameters of the state's hot-button "stand your ground" self-defense law before it made an arrest, given Browsky's statements that he feared for his safety.

Before Browsky's plea, the case was set to go to trial next month. A spokesperson for the Hernando County School District said the district had no comment on Browsky's plea agreement.

Contact Jack Evans at jevans@tampabay.com. Follow @JackHEvans.

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