Man accused of firing AR-15 at cows on Florida Turnpike, FHP says
Elvis Artola, 30, faces several charges
ORLANDO, Fla. – A man was arrested on allegations of firing a weapon outside his vehicle on New Year's Day on the Florida Turnpike, the Florida Highway Patrol said.
Elvis Antonio Artola, 30, was observed hanging out the passenger side of a friend's vehicle and shooting a rifle on the turnpike near the Osceola Parkway, troopers said.
When a trooper pulled the man and a passenger over and asked him what happened, Artola told the trooper that he didn't know. Artola did tell authorities that there was a weapon in the car, the FHP said.
Troopers said Artola did not cooperate when they asked him to put his hands behind his back and they had to force him into the patrol car.
The driver of the car told troopers that he had pulled over earlier so Artola could use the bathroom, the FHP said. The driver said that's when Artola stepped out of the car with the rifle and shot into the woods several times, the FHP said.
The driver told FHP that he was not sure if Artola was trying to shoot cows or was just shooting into the open woods, officials said.
The driver told the FHP trooper that he did not want to "snitch on his friend," the arrest report said.
A witness was able to give a 911 operator a description of the vehicle and the license plate number.
"Basically a white male was sticking his head out of the window with a long rifle and shooting at the cows," the man told 911.
He said Atrola was in the back passenger's side of a dark blue Hyundai with half his body out the window shooting the gun as his friend drove.
"It was loud. He was right next to me. I heard, like, four shots pop off and I thought my tire blew," the caller said. The 911 call is embedded below.
Artola faces charges of carrying a weapon openly, use/display weapon during felony, improperly exhibiting a firearm or dangerous weapon, use of firearm under the influence of alcohol, and discharge of a machine gun with harm or property damage.
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