Flagler sex offender arrested after ‘swinging around’ rifle, deputies say

Manuel Almeida, 72, faces charges of openly carrying firearm, firing gun in public

Manuel Almeida, 72, was arrested Thursday after deputies said he was swinging a rifle around along the roadway. (Flagler County Sheriff's Office)

FLAGLER COUNTY, Fla. – A Flagler County man, who is a convicted sex offender, was arrested Thursday after witnesses reported him “swinging around” a rifle and stumbling along a road, according to the sheriff’s office.

Deputies said they responded near Mahogany Boulevard in Mondex after receiving the reports.

Upon arrival, they found Manuel Almeida, 72, who refused to comply with deputies’ commands, a release from the sheriff’s office reveals.

The release states that Almeida instead fired a shot from his rifle into the air before fleeing into the woods nearby.

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However, deputies were able to track Almeida down and de-escalate the situation, ultimately bringing Almeida into custody, body camera footage shows. Deputies said they found a .22 caliber rifle near where Almeida was arrested, and a shell casing had been jammed in the rifle from the shot he fired.

[Click in the media player below to watch body camera footage of the arrest. WARNING: video contains explicit language. Viewer discretion is advised.]

Almeida faces charges of possession of a firearm as a convicted felon, possession of ammunition by a convicted felon, discharging a firearm in public, openly carrying a firearm and resisting arrest without violence.

State records show that Almeida was previously convicted in 1998 for a sexual battery and burglary the year prior.

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Anthony, a graduate of the University of Florida, joined ClickOrlando.com in April 2022.