WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — A West Palm Beach man thought he was doing the right thing by recording video on his cellphone after seeing a car full of people throw trash out their window, but he wasn’t expecting what happened next.
“My mother could get harmed or I could get harmed, much less life taken,” said the victim, who doesn’t want to use his last name for fear of retaliation.
For a moment the victim and his mother thought they were going to get shot. He posted a video to Facebook showing the scary moments on New Year’s Day.
“Saw some people throw some styrofoam plates and aluminum foil and some other stuff out the window, and I’m like this is disgusting,” he said.
The victim pulled out his phone trying to get video of a license plate after seeing a car full of people littering. His mom was driving on Haverhill Road, through a school zone at 47th Place to get work supplies, when the other car pulled out a gun.
“I saw the finger on the trigger, and it was just I grew up in this place and this is not what I recall growing up to,” he said.
If you stop the video, you can see a man in the back seat with the gun drawn.
“Clearly, the person displayed the firearm with the intent to let the person know I’m threatening you,” said Stuart Kaplan, a former FBI agent.
Kaplan says the gunman in the video committed a crime, but although the victim was appalled by the littering it didn’t warrant any interaction.
“It should never warrant where you take the law in your own hands because you never know who the recipient of your tongue lashing may be,” Kaplan said.
The victim agreed he could have been more discreet, but now he wants the gunman to face charges.
“These kids they’re just acting fools out on the road and people are gonna get hurt, shot and who knows what else,” the victim said.
He did call the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office and we’re told a report was filed.
If faced with that type of situation, Kaplan says don’t engage and use your phone to call 911.