Hillsborough Co. man arrested, accused of firing hundreds of pellet gun rounds into homes

Hillsborough County

HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – People in the Eaglebrook subdivision in Hillsborough County say one neighbor has been a problem for months.

“The house here on the corner where we are standing has a fence that had almost 200 holes in it, this tree is just shredded, the siding on this house has holes in it, their chimney is shot up,” said Gary Ashbaugh, who pointed to a number of homes with damage from a pellet gun.

A number of neighbors have called the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s office to report damage. At least two people in the neighborhood have reported they’ve been shot at by the man with the pellet gun.

“There is just damage every place. If you look around there are boxes from the cable company that he shot at and the young lady, the jogger he shot at that day,” said Ashbaugh.

According to neighbors, several birds and other animals have been killed.

On Tuesday, Hillsborough County Sheriff’s deputies arrested Mathew Taylor Jones, 34, and charged him with felony criminal mischief.

Jones made his first appearance in front of a Hillsborough County judge on Wednesday and ordered him to stay away from the neighborhood and to surrender all of his firearms, including his pellet guns.

Jones has previously been convicted of a felony and is not legally allowed to be in possession of a firearm.

Robert Jeffries, who lives on the street, says he found one of the pellet gun rounds in a planter recently.

“I don’t understand somebody like that because how do you shoot other people’s property,” said Jeffries who worries the situation is becoming more serious. “I’m worried about him getting more aggressive and you don’t know what all he’s got there besides the pellet guns and stuff.”

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