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Friday, December 2, 2022

Ocala man arrested after allegedly threatening teens with BB gun

A 40-year-old Ocala man was arrested by the Marion County Sheriff’s Office after he was accused of threatening a group of teenagers with a BB gun.

On Tuesday, October 4, an MCSO corporal responded to the 9300 block of SE 35th Court in Ocala in reference to a weapons offense.

Upon arrival, the corporal made contact with an adult female who stated that her teenage daughter was walking in the neighborhood with a group of friends when a vehicle stopped in front of them. She told the corporal that a white male suspect then pointed a gun at the group of teenagers.

The corporal made contact with a 16-year-old victim who advised that she was walking with her friends on SE 35th Court when a neighborhood friend was spotted driving down the road. The victim advised that the friend stopped the vehicle to talk with the victim and her friends.

The friend’s vehicle was stopped in the middle of the roadway, and the victim advised that there was no oncoming traffic. A few moments later, the victim stated that a black Chevrolet SUV stopped behind her friend’s vehicle and the SUV’s driver began honking the horn.

After the victim and her friends moved out of the way, and the victim’s friend pulled the vehicle over to the side of the road, the SUV drove past the group and then stopped in the middle of the roadway. According to the victim, the male driver, later identified as Brandon Eugene Knowles, exited the vehicle and began yelling at the teenagers.

Brandon Eugene Knowles
Brandon Eugene Knowles

When one of the teenagers yelled back at Knowles, the victim stated that Knowles returned to the SUV, grabbed a black handgun, and walked back towards them while “waving and pointing” the firearm. The victim claimed that Knowles told the group, “I will shoot all of y’all.”

The MCSO report states that the victim showed the corporal a short video on her cellphone which was recorded during the incident. The corporal noted in the report that Knowles was holding what appeared to be a black semi-automatic handgun and he was yelling obscenities at the teenagers.

The corporal spoke with several additional juvenile victims separately, and they all gave similar statements.

While MCSO was conducting interviews of the victims, a father of one of the victims arrived on scene and stated that he had followed the SUV. He stated that Knowles had tossed a black handgun out of the SUV’s window near the 3100 block of SE 95th Street.

The victim’s father retrieved the firearm and realized that it was actually a BB gun. The victim’s father handed the BB gun to the corporal, and it was collected for evidence.

The corporal located Knowles at his residence on SE 93rd Street, and he was detained. After being read his Miranda rights, Knowles claimed that the juvenile victims had surrounded his vehicle after he had honked his horn at them.

Knowles claimed that he became nervous and his “instincts kicked in.” He admitted to grabbing his BB gun, and he further admitted that he did not tell the juvenile victims that it was a BB gun.

During the incident, Knowles claimed that he told the juvenile victims to get away from his vehicle, though he denied pointing the BB gun at them. According to Knowles, the BB gun remained down at his side during the altercation.

When Knowles drove away from the incident location on SE 95th Street, he admitted to throwing the BB gun out of the SUV’s window.

Knowles was arrested and transported to Marion County Jail where he is currently being held on $10,000 bond. He is facing felony charges for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon without intent to kill (four counts) and tampering with evidence.

A court date has been scheduled on Tuesday, November 8 at 9 a.m., according to jail records.