“I will rip that thing off your shoulder so quick and beat you down with it.”
Those are the words that preceded an tense, knife-involved tirade between a Florida man and a local news crew on Tuesday. The man was upset that a crew from WPLG-TV was broadcasting outside his house, despite the crew being on public property. The man was caught on camera threatening the team, and when it didn’t leave took out a knife and started slashing lights and cords:
“Local 10’s Ross Palombo was reporting on a home owner who skipped out on paying taxes when a man came up to the Local 10 crew armed with a knife,” the video’s description says. “The whole thing played out on camera.”
The news station said the man even released his dogs at one point. The crew did call police and an hours-long standoff ensued. But believe it or not, the man was not taken into custody. Instead, he “struck a deal” to turn himself in the next day.
According to separate WPLG report, the man is Louis Dominic Paolino III. He was released from jail Thursday morning after the police report says he was “threatening to cut [the reporter’s] throat.”
Police wouldn’t say on camera why they simply left the man’s house after SWAT was called in and the standoff ensued. However a subsequent statement said they wanted “to minimize the likelihood of escalating the incident.”
The crew was originally doing a story on $100,000 in unpaid property taxes at Paolino’s residence. He was charged with aggravated assault, criminal mischief, and grand theft, and the damage to the crew’s property was estimated at about $1,400.
You can watch the video here.