Volusia County sheriff calls for action after separate incidents involving teen violence

Teens arrested in 2 gun incidents in 2 days

DeLAND, Fla. – Volusia County’s sheriff is calling for action after two separate incidents of teen violence involving weapons happened this past week.

Two teens, one 14 and the other 15, were arrested this past Friday for threatening a skating rink employee with a handgun.

“Things like this doesn’t happen here, well, not often here,” Bryan Garcia said, “We do get kids that kind of get rambunctious, but nothing like this.”

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Garcia, a DJ at The Rink on Spring Garden Avenue in DeLand, told News 6 he was the one threatened at gunpoint.

Deputies released body camera video Saturday of the pair of teen suspects being arrested.

Arrest documents said the two had a stolen handgun out of Marion County.

Garcia said the confrontation started during his safety checks as he closed down the building.

“He happened to be sitting in front of the door. When I went to open it, I accidentally hit him and I said, ‘Can you move?’ He was, like, ‘Don’t talk to me like that,’ and it kind of escalated from there,” said Garcia.

Volusia County Sheriff Mike Chitwood said he is frustrated at a growing and violent trend of teens with weapons.

“We got to get our head out of our a**. We cannot have 13-, 14- and 15-year-old kids running around, shooting people, threatening to shoot people and everybody, ‘Oh, well. They are juveniles,” Chitwood said.

Chitwood said there were several incidents in December involving teen violence, and now two already this week in his county.

This past Thursday, two 15-year-olds, Darren Brown and Mikel Debose, were charged with attempted murder.

Bodycam video captured of the arrest of Brown, who was found hiding behind a home in Deltona.

Deputies said Brown and Debose tried to buy drugs off a man, but instead shot him in the face and stole his car. Records show both have a long criminal history including armed robbery in 2020 when they were each 13-years-old.

[RELATED: Pair of 15-year-old boys accused in Deltona shooting, Volusia deputies say]

Chitwood calls it more proof courts need to act.

“I am not saying life in prison. I’m not saying 30-year sentences. But if you’re going to get a gun, you’re going to threaten to shoot somebody or shoot them, you can’t be giving essays out. You can’t be putting them on probation,” Chitwood said.

Chitwood said the new head of the juvenile justice department is re-evaluating which teens need more punishment and which need more help.

Chitwood’s pressuring the county council to fund a center for those kids and their parents.

“So that when any juvenile we come in contact with them ... all of the specialists, all of the services are there to evaluate the family and the young person and find out why this is going on,” Chitwood said.

The two teens in the skating rink incident are facing multiple charges, including aggravated assault.

Officials are reminding parents to make to talk to teens about safety and if they see something, say something.

About the Author:

Brian Didlake joined the News 6 team as a reporter in March 2021.