Advertisement
  1. News

Orlando shooter Omar Mateen had a juvenile arrest record

This undated image provided by the Orlando Police Department shows Omar Mateen, the shooting suspect at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Fla., Sunday, June 12, 2016. The gunman opened fire inside the crowded gay nightclub early Sunday before dying in a gunfight with SWAT officers, police said. (Orlando Police Department via AP) NY116
Published Jun. 17, 2016

Omar Mateen was arrested for beating up a classmate and experimented with marijuana in high school, according to documents released Thursday by the state.

In his application to become a prison guard, Mateen acknowledged the drug use as a juvenile and a fight in May 2001 while in math class at Martin County High School.

The fight led to misdemeanor charges of battery and disrupting a school function. The latter count was dropped and a judge withheld adjudication for battery.

Misdemeanor juvenile records are not public in Florida, so it's unclear how Mateen pleaded in the case.

"I did not get handcuffed and I did not go to jail," he wrote in his application to the Department of Corrections in 2006. "It was an experience of me growing up and I learned a big lesson from it."

Mateen, 29, killed 49 people and injured dozens of others at the Orlando gay bar Pulse on Sunday morning.

In the records released Thursday, Mateen was applying to become a prison guard at Martin Correctional Institution.

He was hired into a training program, earning about $550 a week and doing many of the same jobs as corrections officers. At the same time, he was enrolled in criminal justice courses at nearby Indian River Community College.

He was dismissed after about six months on the job at the prison; the state will not say why. Documents indicate he was terminated for an administrative reason unrelated to misconduct.

His application includes more than half a dozen recommendations from friends and neighbors who praised Mateen's judgment, work ethic and willingness to "give a hand if needed."

Port St. Lucie Police Officer Steve J. Brown, who met Mateen at a local Gold's Gym, wrote a personal letter to the state urging his hire.

"I would sleep soundly at night," Brown wrote, "knowing that a person like Omar is protecting us (from) the element which resides behind your concrete and steel walls."

ALSO IN THIS SECTION

  1. Pasco Commissioner Mike Moore is questioning why the county helps fund the Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council
    County Commissioner Mike Moore wonders what Pasco gets for its regional planning council dues. | C.T. Bowen
  2. Spectators peruse Beetles and buses at the 31st-annual Florida Bug Jam, held Nov. 9-10 at the Pasco County Fairgrounds in Dade City. Michele Miller
  3. Isabella Yosuico of Safety Harbor with some of the Mighty Tykes wrist and ankle bands she invted to help her son Isaac, who has Down Syndrome, and other children with weak muscles. SCOTT KEELER  |  Tampa Bay Times
    A product to help special needs kids leads to big loans, a lawsuit and a bungled bankruptcy
  4. 42 minutes ago• Hillsborough
    Lynn Cristina is a Wesley Chapel momma with two girls and works full time as a marketing manager. Courtesy of Lynn Cristina
    Please be gentle with your friends who have strong-willed daughters who sabotage the morning routine of getting dressed in the morning.
  5. Prominent Democrat Alex Sink is backing Kevin Beckner in the Democratic clerk of court primary against Doug Bakke.
    In a news release, Sink praised Beckner’s qualifications as a former county commissioner and financial planner.
  6. Hernando County Government Center
    Maus Nissan hopes to build Hernando County’s first Nissan dealership on Wiscon Road.
  7. Officers arrived and helped treat the wounded man. Then he was rushed to a hospital.
  8. The Pinellas County Commission moved closer Tuesday to granting a total of $20.6 million to three museums: the Salvidor Dali Museum (top), the Tampa Bay Watch Discovery Center (bottom left), and the St. Petersburg Museum of History. Photos courtesy of Pinellas County
    The Dalí Museum, St. Petersburg Museum of History and Tampa Bay Watch are on track to receive bed tax dollars for expansions.
  9. West Port Colony apartments in St. Petersburg C2 Design Group Inc, Chris Stevens
    The complex off Fourth Street N is convenient to both Tampa and downtown St. Petersburg.
  10. According to a forecast by PNC, business leaders feel sunny about the coming six months.
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement