Florida man mimicking military march points stolen rifle at officers, police say

Suspect taken down by K9 after reportedly refusing to obey commands

Florida man points stolen rifle at officers, mimics military march, gets taken down by K9, police say (Copyright 2020 by WKMG ClickOrlando - All rights reserved.)

WINTER HAVEN, Fla. – A man was arrested after he pointed a stolen rifle at officers, disobeyed orders to drop the firearm, and was eventually taken down by a K9, according to the Winter Haven Police Department.

Police responded to 16th Street Northeast Tuesday after receiving calls in reference to a man who was walking in the middle of the street with what appeared to be a rifle, according to a news release.

Officers said upon arriving at the scene, they found 40 year-old George Nerio in the middle of the roadway with the rifle, exhibiting strange behavior that included saluting people as they drove by, walking in a military-style march and handling the gun like it was part of a drill activity.

As more units arrived on scene, Neiro had the weapon on his shoulder with the barrel pointing in the direction of the officers, the department said.

After being commanded by officers to do so, Nerio to dropped the rifle, but refused to walk away from the weapon. A news release stated residents in the area were told to stay inside of their homes due to Nerio’s unwillingness to obey commands to walk away from the weapon.

After continually disobeying authorities, K-9 Officer Collazo and his partner Miko setup directly across from where Nerio was standing and the K9 took Nerio to the ground. He was then taken into custody without further incident and transported to Winter Haven Health for treatment from the dog bite, according to police.

Records show no weapons were fired and no officers were injured during the incident.

Investigators said the rifle that Nerio had is listed as stolen out of the Polk County Sheriff’s Office jurisdiction.

Nerio was charged with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, grand theft of a firearm, possession of methamphetamine, possession of drug paraphernalia and resisting arrest without violence, records show.

After treatment at a hospital, Nerio was booked into the Polk County Jail.

About the Author:

Erin began her career at News 6 as an assignment editor, then became a show producer. She is now a digital storyteller as part of the Click Orlando team.