Charlotte Park man arrested after firing ‘warning shot’ at boaters in canal

Writer: Matthew Seaver
Published: Updated:
Dennis Fair
Dennis Fair, 82. (Credit: Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office)

A Charlotte Park man has been arrested after deputies say he fired a ‘warning shot’ near a boat in the canal behind his home on Monday.

Charlotte County Sheriff’s Deputies said they responded to the area of Palm and Marlin Drive just after 3 p.m. after receiving a call about a shooting along the canal.

Deputies said a caller told them a neighbor, later identified as 82-year-old Dennis Fair, was yelling at a boat in the canal and had a gun in his hand. The caller told deputies that he saw Fair chamber a round and then heard a gunshot.

The sheriff’s office said that the victims on the boat had entered the canal from a nearby boat launch and were headed to swim in Charlotte Harbor when they were passing Fair’s home.

The victims told deputies that Fair shouted to them as they passed, so they turned around to see why. Deputies said that as the victims on the boat approached Fair, he was shouting at them with a gun in his hand that the canal was a no-wake zone. The victims told deputies that Fair was stumbling around and appeared to be very drunk during the incident.

The person driving the boat told deputies that he had slightly increased the boat’s speed to get around a turn in the canal.

According to deputies, the victims told them that Fair threatened to show them what the gun could do and then fired the gun. The victims said they immediately drove their boat back to the boat ramp and called 911.

The Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office said that Fair confessed to firing the gun after he was arrested. Deputies said Fair referred to the shot as a ‘warning shot’ to scare the boaters into slowing down. Fair also admitted to deputies that he had been drinking and admitted he knew his actions were wrong.

Fair is facing four charges of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and a charge for using a firearm while intoxicated.

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