Hillsborough County circuit judge has thrown out attempted murder charges against security guard www.privateofficer.com
TAMPA Fla Dec 20 2011
A Hillsborough County circuit judge has thrown out a charge of second-degree attempted murder against a Brandon man who shot a patron this year at a West Tampa strip club.
Judge Ashley B. Moody ruled Friday that Carlos A. Catalan-Flores, a security guard at the club, is immune from prosecution under the state’s “Stand Your Ground” law. The law lets a person defend himself with deadly force if he believes his life is at stake.
According to court records, Catalan-Flores was working at Flash Dancers, 4202 W. Cayuga St., on May 21. When the club closed at 3 a.m., Catalan-Flores told Uriel Pena-Gutierrez and his friends they could not take their beers with them.
Pena-Guiterrez threw away the beer he was carrying but left with two full bottles of beer in his pants pockets. Catalan-Flores forced Pena-Gutierrez and his friends to pour out their beers in the club parking lot.
A short time later, Catalan-Flores found Pena-Giuterrez and his friend still sitting in the club parking lot drinking. He began to confiscate the beers, sparking an argument with Pena-Gutierrez. During the argument, Catalan-Flores was facing the group with his back to the club wall.
Pena-Gutierrez cursed at the security guard, then took a beer bottle from his pocket and threw it at Catalan-Flores, court records say. The bottle shattered nearby.
Catalan-Flores testified he feared if he was hit with a bottle, the group might take his gun and kill him. He also carried a baton and pepper spray but believed his gun was the only way to keep the group from injuring or killing him.
When Pena-Gutierrez prepared to lob a second beer at Catalan-Flores, the guard fired six shots at him. Pena-Gutierrez was hit by bullets as he ran.
Catalan-Flores approached Pena-Guiterrez where he lay wounded, then called 911. Pena-Guiterrez survived his injuries.