Man arrested after pulling gun on wife during dispute, Winter Park police say

Cops say bystander helped woman after husband attempted to force her in vehicle

By Michelle Dendy - Web Editor

WINTER PARK, Fla. - Winter Park police have arrested a man they say pulled a gun on his wife and attempted to force her into his vehicle, where she was saved by a bystander.

Police said Robert Potchen, 57, and his estranged wife got into an argument after 5 p.m. Monday in the parking lot of an office complex at Wymore Road and Fairbanks Avenue when he pulled out a gun and attempted to force her into his pickup truck. A bystander in the parking lot saw what happened and went to help the woman, bringing her into one of the office buildings in the complex.

"This couple just came from counseling one building over and he saw them get in the car -- this man with the gun and this woman -- and there was an altercation so he kept an eye on them," said Michael Young, who looked out the window of his office after hearing a woman scream and saw the commotion.

That bystander dragged the woman into a nearby office to get her away from Potchen and another employee locked the front door.

Police said Potchen followed them and attempted to break the glass of the front door with his gun, which shattered the glass.

The sound of the breaking glass and Potchen being seen with the gun is what led people to believe that shots were fired. At the time of the preliminary investigation at the scene, police said there was no evidence to support the allegation of shots being fired. No injuries were reported.

Potchen then fled from the office building and approached another woman in the parking lot. With his gun in hand, police said he demanded and stole the woman's cellphone. It is unknown why Potchen took the woman's cellphone, authorities said.

Police said Potchen fled from the scene heading north on Wymore Road in his silver Ford pickup truck. He was booked into jail early Tuesday morning on charges of kidnapping with intent to harm, robbery with a firearm, battery, aggravated assault, armed burglary.

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