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Ocala
Sunday, October 17, 2021

Driver stops car, prevents homeless man’s alleged attack on Ocala City Council candidate’s campaigning wife

A driver stopped his vehicle and intervened after he saw a homeless man attempting to attack an Ocala City Council candidate’s wife while she campaigned for her husband outside of the Hilton Garden Inn. 

The Ocala Police Department responded to the incident around noon on Saturday, September 11, after receiving a call about a man who allegedly attempted to attack a campaign sign holder at the intersection of NE 1st Avenue and East State Road 40. 

According to an OPD report, 31-year-old Mario Henry approached the victim and began yelling obscenities. The victim says she saw Henry approaching in an aggressive manner and tried to move away to protect her dog. As she moved away, Henry allegedly attempted to punch her and missed. 

A driver traveling along E SR 40 stopped his vehicle and intervened after seeing the altercation. The stranger told Henry to leave. 

The local candidate, who was campaigning nearby, says he heard yelling and screaming and ran over to his wife as he saw Henry attempting to strike her. After the driver told Henry to leave, the candidate followed him down the road and contacted law enforcement. 

Henry, whose address is listed as “homeless,” was arrested and transported to the Marion County Jail. He was charged with disorderly conduct and possession of a controlled substance.  His bond was set at $2,500 and his next court date is scheduled for October 12 at 9 a.m., according to court records.