Florida police arrested a man for allegedly attacking a 74-year-old who called him "grandson" (photo below).
Suspect Justin Paul Carter spent two weeks recovering in the hospital before his arrest, after victim Michael Frey shot the man in the mouth in self-defense, The Walton County, Florida, Sheriff's Office (WCSO) stated in a press release.
Police said that the victim knew his attacker well and that although they were not related, Frey viewed the man as a "grandson." Their friendship turned foul, however, when Carter came to Frey's house on Sept. 19. Carter reportedly said that he needed to speak with Frey's wife, Margaret, alone, but Frey refused.
Frey told police that Carter appeared to be strongly under the influence of drugs, and he did not trust the man in his current state. The couple told Carter to leave, but this only made him angry. After Frey asked his wife to call police, she stepped outside, and Carter allegedly began repeatedly punching the elderly man in the face before smashing his head against a cabinet.
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Fearing for his life, Frey took a .38 caliber pistol out of his pocket and shot Carter one time in the mouth.
Carter immediately moved away from Frey and tried so frantically to escape the house that he shattered a window.
Frey's injuries included a broken nose, a fractured orbital socket of the right eye and a severe hematoma on the head.
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Police arrested Carter and took him to the Walton County Jail in Florida after he was released from the hospital that treated him for the gunshot wound. Officers charged him with aggravated battery of a person 65 or older, property damage of $200 or less, and trespassing.
In Florida, battery on persons 65 years of age and older carries a minimum sentence of three years in prison combined with a possible fine and community service, according to the Florida Legislature's official website.
“This is absolutely a justifiable use of force,” said Sheriff Adkinson of Frey’s actions, according to WCSO. “This is inexcusable behavior toward a 74-year-old man and at WCSO we do not accept this kind of behavior toward our senior citizens. In this case, having a firearm saved this man's life.”