Wednesday, December 24, 2003

Bradenton, Florida

Just about every incident we've listed was an upstanding citizen. Here's one that at first glance is apparently not--but he was still in the right to use deadly force. From the December 21, 2003 Bradenton, Florida Herald:
About 11 p.m., police said, Richard Bing Jr., 35, forced his way into the house at 519 21st Ave. W.

Inside the home, Bing put a gun to a female resident's head, the woman told police.

Instead of robbing her, police said, Bing was shot to death.

Ronald Cote, who owns the house according to the Manatee County Property Appraisers database, came into the room and shot Bing, killing him instantly, police said. Cote lives at the house with his mother, police said.

Lt. Keith Davis, head of the Bradenton Police Department's Detective Division, said no charges were filed Saturday and that the shooting appeared justified because it was a home invasion.

"It appears the homeowner was protecting his property and his house, and he was in fear," Davis said. "It'll have to be ruled on by the State Attorney's Office."
Okay so far. But the news report goes on to explain that Cote isn't quite the person we would hope for:
Cars are constantly coming and going to Ronald Cote's house, neighbors say. But there was a deadly difference late Friday night.


But neighbors scoffed at the term "home invasion," saying they are convinced the traffic at the house is drug dealers.

Detective Michael Skoumal said more than one gun was found in the home, but he would not elaborate on whether Bing held a gun. None of the occupants in the house was injured.

No other information was available on the dead man. Skoumal said detectives are investigating whether more people were involved in the attempted robbery.

Neighbors said they heard three gunshots Friday night, then saw a person run from Cote's home.

"It sounded like someone took a shovel and hit the side of a metal shed," neighbor Frank Van Horn said. He said he then watched as a man ran from the house yelling, "Get in the truck, get in the truck, he's dead!"

A woman, who would not identify herself but said she was Cote's mother, answered the door at the house Saturday. The woman, who said Bing was holding a gun to her head, said Cote saved her life.

"A 23-year-old shouldn't have to kill somebody," the woman said.

Police said they interviewed Cote's mother and that her account of the home invasion appeared to check out.

Bing has a criminal history dating to 1988, according to the Manatee County Circuit Court database. He has been convicted of selling cocaine, domestic battery and aggravated battery.
Cote also has a criminal conviction as a juvenile, and you get the distinct impression that Bing tried to rip off a drug dealer--and lost.

No comments:

Post a Comment