A Florida man who was armed with a handgun and a rifle was arrested after pointing the weapons at his Muslim neighbors while hurling racial slurs and threats.
According to the Florida Times-Union, Robert Anthony Ruetting, 52, is facing charges of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. He was released on $50,000 bond Monday and is due back in court April 25.
Aied Alzaidy, 47, was outside gardening, minding his own business, at about 9:30 p.m. Saturday when Ruetting apparently came out of his home next door holding a handgun and a flashlight.
“‘If you move [expletive], I will shoot you,’” Alzaidy said Ruetting told him, according to the Times-Union. Ruetting allegedly put the handgun to his head before striking the 47-year-old with the flashlight.
Ruetting then went back inside before reappearing with a rifle, which he allegedly pointed at the victim, his wife and their young children, ages 9, 7 and 5.
“I’m going to kill all you Muslim [expletive]; get out of my country. Don’t talk to my wife,” Ruetting allegedly said.
By the time officers arrived, Ruetting had retreated back into his home. Police say that Ruetting and his wife agreed to have their home searched, and a rifle in an open bag next to Ruetting’s bed was seized as evidence, the news site notes.
Alzaidy said that his family now lives in fear, their three children sleep in their parents’ room, and he and his wife take turns sleeping in case something happens.
“I have to find a doctor to talk to my oldest one,” Alzaidy said. “When she saw the AK-47 pointed at her dad, she told her mom, ‘I’m afraid he’s going to kill my dad.’”
Ruetting’s wife, Nancy Urfalino, blamed Alzaidy for the outrageous confrontation, accusing Alzaidy of coming on to her for a while now, until her husband had had enough.
“My husband did not lay a hand on him, zilch,” Urfalino said Tuesday.
Alzaidy said that he never approached Urfalino in such a manner, citing his marriage and his beliefs.
“She’s drunk 24-7 and she uses language I don’t want my kids to hear,” he said. “She uses language like that every single day: ‘Get out of our country, Muslim.’”
Alzaidy said that this is just the latest hostile encounter his family has had with Ruetting and Urfalino since moving from Michigan.
“The problem is, they hate Muslims and they hate kids,” he said. “He came with the AK-47 and he said, ‘Get out of my country, Muslim. I hate Muslims.’”
Of course, the Florida chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations has had to call on authorities to charge Ruetting with a hate crime—because the alleged altercation isn’t suspicious enough, I suppose.
Read more at the Florida Times-Union.