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Leesburg man accused of pointing gun at neighbor’s tree trimmer

Scott Christopher Burns
Scott Christopher Burns

A Leesburg man was charged with aggravated assault after he reportedly aimed a gun at his neighbor’s tree trimmer.

A Lake County sheriff’s deputy responded to a complaint of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon at 4921 Kelso Street around 9:28 a.m. Tuesday, according to an arrest report from the sheriff’s office.

Upon arrival, the deputy met with the victim, who stated he was doing some trade work for a customer. He said he was trimming the branches that were growing from a tree that was planted on 50-year-old Scott Christopher Burns’ property, but he never entered Burns’ property, the report said.

Burns approached the victim and said, “are you done trimming right,” to which the victim just continued his work. In response, Burns pulled a small black pistol from his pocket and aimed it directly at the victim. He then told the victim he was done trimming the tree, according to the report.

The victim climbed down from the ladder that he was using and walked away. He called law enforcement as Burns got in his father’s black 2001 Cadillac and fled the scene, the report said.

The deputy spoke with three witnesses, including the woman who hired the victim, and all gave similar accounts of the incident. The deputy also spoke with Burns’ father, who provided information on his son’s location, according to the report.

A security guard working at the front gate of the neighborhood advised the officer that a vehicle matching the victim’s description left the neighborhood at a high rate of speed just before deputies arrived. As a result, a Lake County BOLO was sent out for Burns, the report said.

The deputy later responded to 1935 Don Wickham Drive, where it was advised that Clermont police located and detained Burns, the report said.

Upon arrival at the arrest site, the officer spoke to Burns, who was already secured in handcuffs. When asked what happened with his neighbors, Burns gave a similar recollection of the incident that the witnesses and victim had. He further advised he aimed the weapon at the victim because he felt threatened, the report said.

Burns that the weapon was inside his jacket pocket, which was in the trunk of his vehicle, the report said. The officer opened the trunk and found a black Glock 9mm pistol with a fully loaded magazine inside the pocket of the jacket. It also contained six fully loaded 9mm magazines.

The California native was charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon without intent to kill. He was transported to the Lake County Jail and released after posting $5,000 bond.

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