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Police: Clearwater restaurateur pointed loaded shotgun at them

Published Feb. 21, 2016

CLEARWATER — Louis Anastiosios Spiridakos grabbed his loaded shotgun late Friday night after someone, he said, started banging and kicking at his garage door.

He opened the door and is accused of pointing the gun, with a round chambered, at two men standing outside.

The men were Clearwater police officers. "I knew they were police," Spiridakos said, "as soon as I saw their shoes."

Spiridakos, 34, of Harn Boulevard, owner of the Expo Restaurant in Clearwater, was arrested at gunpoint and charged with aggravated assault on law enforcement officers. The officers said Spiridakos was intoxicated, cursing and insulting them as he was arrested.

Spiridakos, who denied pointing a gun at the officers, was released early Saturday on $10,000 bail.

After a night out with his girlfriend, Spiridakos said he accidentally set off his home alarm system at 10:55 p.m. He provided the correct security code when the alarm company called the house. But police said Spiridakos then asked that the police respond anyway.

Officers Scott Fowler and J. Myers arrived 20 minutes later, though Spiridakos denied in an interview that he summoned them.

Spiridakos, who was watching TV in the garage with his girlfriend, said the police did not properly identify themselves as they banged on the garage door. "So I grabbed my gun because that's my right," he said.

But he said he did nothing wrong, dropping the gun on the garage floor when he saw the men were police.

"I've got police eating at my restaurant seven days a week," he said. "I've got friends who are police. I don't point guns at cops. I'm not a moron."

Police, Spiridakos said, overreacted, and he was particularly upset because one officer repeatedly yelled at him, "I will blow your . . . head off!"

Spiridakos said he respects and likes the police and noted they are still welcome at his restaurant at 1185 N Hercules Ave., with two exceptions — the arresting officers.

"These guys," he said, "are not allowed to be served."

Contact William R. Levesque at levesque@tampabay.com. Follow @Times_Levesque.

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