OVIEDO, Fla. - The mayor of Oviedo doesn't deny threatening to kill his neighbors as part of an ongoing dispute, but he says the only reason he did it was to defend his daughter.
Oviedo police said they were called to Suncrest Court around 8:45 p.m. Monday after two residents said their neighbor, Mayor Dominic Persampiere, had threatened to shoot them.
Jennifer Bain said her daughter recorded the threat on her cellphone.
Bain showed the officer a video of Persampiere at their doorstep saying, "You ever talk to my kid like that again, I'll get my gun and I'll come over there and I'll (expletive) kill you. Take my picture, here I am, record this. She lost her damn cat. Go ahead, put it on Facebook. You're both (expletive) (expletives)," according to the report.
Persampiere explained to the officer that his daughter was using the flashlight on her phone to walk around the neighborhood looking for her cat and the neighbors thought that she was taking pictures of their home to report a potential violation to the homeowner's association.
"I guess my husband asked his daughter not to take pictures of my home or hanging her phone up in the air trying to get over my fence because when I saw her outside that's what she was doing," Bain said.
The mayor's wife is president of the neighborhood homeowners association. Both the mayor and Bain said they've had HOA issues in the past, but not recently.
Persampiere said his neighbors "verbally assaulted" his 26-year-old daughter.
"Wife approached my daughter, started yelling at her about taking pictures of her house, which she wasn't doing," Persampiere said during a phone interview with News 6.
He also told News 6 that the neighbors threatened his daughter with their dog, which is trained in a way similar to the way police K-9s are trained. The incident report does not mention a dog. Bain said the dog is a family pet.
The mayor said when his daughter told him what happened, he reacted in a way that any parent would have.
"When my daughter was verbally assaulted while looking for her lost cat and then threatened with a K9-trained German sherpherd, I went into 'protective dad' mode," Persampiere said in a written statement. "For many years, this family has antagonized and threatened my wife in her role as HOA president. I will not accept them doing the same to my daughter."
The officer who investigated the incident did not think charges were appropriate in this case because Persampiere was not armed and the incident appeared to be part of an ongoing dispute between neighbors.
Persampiere said he admits he "could have chosen his words better."
"Even though I wear a certain title, I'm a human being just like everybody else," Persampiere said.
Bain believes the mayor should be held accountable and to higher standards.
"I don't expect to be threatened or killed by anybody, no. I don't expect that at all," she said.
News 6 called and emailed the Oviedo city manager and city council members to get their reaction to the incident and to find out if they're taking any action against the mayor in light of what happened but has not heard back.
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