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Ocala
Monday, September 13, 2021

Ocala man arrested after allegedly speeding up vehicle to scare children

An Ocala man was arrested after admitting that he used his vehicle to scare children in his neighborhood whose bus stop routine irritated him. 

A deputy with the Marion County Sheriff’s Office responded to a call on Thursday, September 9 regarding alleged threats made by 59-year-old John O’Brien. 

According to a sheriff’s office report, the father of two juvenile victims says that he confronted O’Brien over what the juvenile victims described as an attempt to run them over. During a verbal argument with the father, O’Brien allegedly threatened to “teach his children a lesson.”

Ocala man arrested after allegedly speeding up vehicle to scare children
John O’Brien

The father says the argument spawned from an incident that occurred on August 24 while the two siblings and a third juvenile victim were standing in a driveway. 

According to the report, the three victims all claim that O’Brien sped up his vehicle in what they believed was an attempt to hit them. One of the victims says he moved his younger sibling out of the way of the vehicle for fear that he would be struck, according to the report.

O’Brien says he was irritated that the victims had been laying on the road in the mornings at their bus stop. He admitted that he sped up towards the victims in his vehicle to scare them out of the road.

O’Brien was arrested on September 9 and charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon without intent to kill. He was released on Saturday, September 11 after posting bail. His next court date is set for October 12 at 9 a.m., according to jail records.