Florida man shoots AR-15 at dirt bikers who were ‘tormenting the neighborhood,’ deputies say

Suspect says he did it ‘just to make awareness’

Derek Richard Roberts (Marion County Jail)

MARION COUNTY, Fla. – A Florida man said he fired his AR-15 multiple times because a group of juveniles on dirt bikes were “tormenting the neighborhood” and he just wanted to “make awareness,” according to the Marion County Sheriff’s Office.

Deputies said they were called to the area of Southeast 174th Place in Ocala Sunday to investigate reports of dirt bikers driving recklessly.

As deputy Anthony Esquivel was investigating, the juveniles told him that 45-year-old Derek Roberts had fired an AR-15 toward them, records show.

Roberts claimed two of the victims had threatened to shoot him and had run their dog off the road a week prior, causing the canine to run into a fence and injure its neck, according to the report.

Deputies said Roberts admitted to firing six rounds from his Glock into his yard “after the 10th (expletive) time they passed by... just to make awareness.” He also said, “Next time if y’all don’t do anything about them I’ll be happy to go to jail,” records show.

One victim said he was called to the area after that shooting and was talking to Roberts’ wife to try to figure out what happened when Roberts came out of his house and said something explicit to him then told him “wait right here” while he went inside, grabbed the AR-15 then shot toward the boy’s vehicle, according to the affidavit.

Roberts claimed he shot the AR-15 at the ground and only did it because the boys in the pickup truck were threatening him, the report said.

Deputies said evidence from the scene proved that Roberts was not aiming at the ground when he shot the rifle.

No one was injured.

Roberts was arrested on three counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon without intent to kill.