Ormond Beach, Fla., police have arrested 66-year-old Richard Marcelle, a board member of The Village community homeowners association (HOA), after he reportedly fired a gun to threaten three teens at a community pool.
That’s the account given to police in a report filed April 23 by the mother of one of the teens, according to NewsDaytonaBeach.com. As it turns out, it’s also the account corroborated by video footage, police say.
Julian Johnson, 18, lives at The Village subdivision, the Daytona Beach News-Journal reports, and therefore has the right to use the pool and bring others there, according to the filed report. But when Johnson and his two friends, one of whom is 16, went to the pool around 9 p.m. to swim, they were confronted by Marcelle.
According to the news site, Marcelle went up to the teenagers and insisted that they had to leave because the pool had closed at sunset. The trio peacefully agreed to go, since they didn’t intend to violate any rules; but as they were gathering their belongings, they read the sign by the pool noting that the area closed at 10 p.m., not “sunset,” as Marcelle claimed. So they went to see Marcelle at the pool’s clubhouse and informed him of his error.
Marcelle told them the rules had changed and they needed to leave.
It wasn’t a clear case of the audacity of Caucasity, at least not yet; Marcelle wasn’t entirely wrong at this point. Later investigation showed that the HOA board had in fact voted to change the hours just days earlier. The hours on the sign by the pool, however, had not been updated—so how were residents supposed to know? After what NewsDaytonaBeach.com described as a “small argument” between Marcelle and the teens, the three decided to follow the posted official signs and keep enjoying their pool time.
This is where Richard Marcelle went totally off-the-rails wrong.
Rather than reason with the teens, or return with the HOA meeting minutes that showed the vote to close the pool at sunset, Marcelle stormed back to the pool area with “a small black revolver style handgun,” according to the news site. He then took that gun, recklessly, and fired a shot into the ground near the three teens, as alleged in the police report.
“Did you really just shoot a gun?” one teen asked, according to the report, to which Marcelle replied, “Yes, I am putting my own life at risk.”
Oh, the audacity.
The teens fled, likely in immense fear, as Marcelle followed them to their car. After quickly writing down Marcelle’s tag number from his car, the teens left the area.
Once police began investigating and reviewing security footage, they realized just how bizarre—and aggressive—Marcelle’s behavior appeared.
Marcelle arrives at the clubhouse in a truck with no vehicle lights on, in what appeared to be an attempt to not be noticed, according to police.
The video then showed Marcelle approaching the victims and conversing with them.
After conversing, Marcelle walked back to his vehicle while the victims appeared to linger around the pool area for a few more minutes. They then appeared to take notice of the posted rules.
Marcelle was also observed leaving his truck, with a small black revolver cupped in his left hand.
That’s when the victims were confronted by Marcelle again, who was seen on video maintaining an aggressive stance while standing in front of the victims.
Police also saw from the footage that the three teens had made no threatening moves toward the 66-year-old.
Reports haven’t released the race of the teens involved, although we will note that the mother of the 16-year-old is white. But regardless of race, no one should have to face the barrel of a loaded gun for simply swimming.
Marcelle was booked and charged on May 1 with three counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and discharging a firearm in public after all three teens identified him in a photo lineup. He reportedly posted a $35,000 bond.
Correction: Sept. 19, 2019, 8:40 p.m. ET: This story has been edited to clarify the date Richard Marcelle was arrested, to remove unattributed text and to add fuller sourcing.