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Police: Man hit wife with shotgun before being arrested in Canaveral Groves

Suspect accidentally fired gun as authorities were approaching, deputies say

William Baldwin
William Baldwin

CANAVERAL GROVES, Fla. – A Cocoa man was arrested Wednesday night after deputies say he threatened his family with firearms and hit his wife with a shotgun before eluding law enforcement in the woods in Canaveral Groves, News 6 partner Florida Today reported.

William Baldwin, 50, was taken into custody after deputies responded to a call from his son, saying Baldwin was acting "crazy," according to reports. He was threatening his wife and son with a shotgun, deputies report. 

On the phone with Baldwin's wife, she told deputies Baldwin hit her with a shotgun in the arm and on the head, causing a bruise on her left elbow and a one-inch laceration on the left side of her  head. Baldwin also pushed and punched his son before threatening to kill him with the gun, the wife told deputies.

Baldwin hid behind a tree when deputies arrived near his home on Calamondin Avenue and Pine Street about 7:40 p.m. A sheriff's helicopter located the man in a wooded area near his home. 

As the helicopter directed deputies to Baldwin's location, a shot went off.

"The guy accidentally fired a round," said Tod Goodyear, spokesman for the Brevard County Sheriff's Office. "He does have an injury, but it's not a gunshot wound."

Deputies do not believe the man intentionally fired at them. 

"The helicopter directed them in, and he surrendered without incident," Goodyear said.

Baldwin was taken to Wuesthoff Medical Center for a foot injury, though no information was immediately available on the cause of the injury.

A bulletproof vest and multiple firearms were found alongside Baldwin in the woods. 

"I don't know what his intent was," Goodyear said. 

Baldwin was booked into the Brevard County Jail about 1:45 a.m. He is being held without bail.