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Hernando man threatened noisy four-wheelers with shotgun, deputies say

The man racked and pointed an empty shotgun at 10 people who were out for a night ride near — but not on — his property, according to the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office.
 
Matthew Stegman, 47, of Brooksville, faces 10 counts of aggravated assault with a firearm, according to the Hernando County Sheriff's Office.
Matthew Stegman, 47, of Brooksville, faces 10 counts of aggravated assault with a firearm, according to the Hernando County Sheriff's Office. [ Hernando County Sheriff's Office ]
Published April 27, 2020|Updated April 27, 2020

BROOKSVILLE — A shotgun-wielding man accused of menacing a group riding all-terrain vehicles for noisily driving near his property was arrested Saturday on 10 counts of aggravated assault with a firearm, deputies said.

Matthew Stegman, 47, told deputies he was sick of the off-road vehicles riding up and down the dirt road along his property at 9440 Hernando Ridge Road, according to the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office.

At about 10:30 p.m. Saturday, a group of ten people were riding four-wheelers were on a night ride when Stegman stepped into their path, holding a shotgun and demanding they get off of his property, deputies said.

Two fled on food, fearing for their safety. Others argued with Stegman, telling him they were on a dirt trail that ran alongside power lines, not on his property. One woman took a cell phone video as Stegman continued to rack his shotgun and briefly point it at the group, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

When deputies arrived, they noted that the confrontation took place outside of Stegman’s fenced yard and arrested him. The shotgun was empty, deputies said, but he had a loaded Glock pistol in the front pocket of his shorts.

In an interview with deputies, Stegman told them he thought he could use the unloaded weapon to deter the off-roaders rom riding along his property. He said he racked the shotgun but never pointed it at anyone. He was booked into the Hernando County Detention Center and freed on Sunday after posting $20,000 bail.

Deputies also issued trespass warnings for 9440 Hernando Ridge Road to all ten people in the case.