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Man arrested after boat fight, Marion County deputies say

John Howard accused of fighting 2 others while on Lake Weir

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MARION COUNTY, Fla. – A 36-year-old man was arrested after getting into a physical fight with two others while on a boat in Marion County, deputies said.

Deputies were called early Friday at Hope's Boat Launch about a physical disturbance.

The victim had called the Marion County Sheriff's Office when a disagreement during an outing on the boat she was on escalated into violence, deputies said. The boat was out in the middle of Lake Weir.

The 911 caller told deputies that three people were on the boat and that one person, identified as John Howard, was battering the other two people on board, according to the Sheriff's Office.

After celebrating a friend's birthday, the three had boarded the boat and set out on the lake. After some time on the water, one of the boaters decided they wanted to be dropped off on shore because they had to be at work in the morning, deputies said.

Howard did not want to take them back, but instead wanted to stay out on the water and continue to hang with them, deputies said. The boater stated he became upset and asked Howard to take him and the other boater back to shore.

Deputies said Howard became enraged and started to argue with both of the other boaters. A fight then ensued, leading to some ending up in the water.

Howard eventually drove the boat toward the shore line and the other boaters got off, where they eventually met up with deputies.

A perimeter was set up, and the boaters were found and were brought back to Hope's Boat Launch. Deputies said Howard was found shortly after in the 15800 block of Southeast 105th Terrace near the shore line and was placed under arrest.

Howard was arrested on simple domestic battery charges.