PORT RICHEY, Fla. (WFLA) – It started with a minor traffic accident. At the intersection of Orchid Lake Road and Rowan Road in Port Richey.
The Florida Highway Patrol says a car driven by Nicholas Wagner, 23 ran a red light and hit another car. Bystanders heard the crash and went up to help.
One of them even handed a phone to Wagner so he could call a family member. Wagner’s sister arrived at the scene and the situation suddenly grew tense.
Witnesses say Wagner became agitated and angry and pulled out a taser and used it in a threatening manner towards bystanders.
“The person we arrested broke out a taser, started threatening people with tasers, started chasing people with the taser, actually dry stunned one of the victims in the chest,” said Kevin Doll with the Pasco Sheriff’s Office.
Wagner was eventually arrested and now faces charges of assault with a deadly weapon. From jail, Wagner claimed he was the one who felt threatened at the scene.
He says one of the bystanders started screaming at his sister when he went to her car to calm down.
“He started getting vulgar with my sister and everything and that’s when I freaked out, I had a lot of anxiety. I was sitting in my sister’s car, he wouldn’t leave me alone,” said Wagner.
The victim he tased told News Channel 8 he and others thought Wagner was trying to leave the scene of the accident when he sat in his sister’s car.
A few moments later, a cell phone video taken at the scene by a witness shows Wagner running down the street. That’s when the Pasco Sheriff’s office says Wagner turned on the victim and used his taser.
Wagner claims it’s a case of self-defense.
“I was sitting in my sisters car and he wouldn’t leave me alone and I ended up getting out of my sister’s car to tell him to pretty much back up, get away dude, I have problems. That’s when this man kept going and kept going and I felt like he kept trying to come closer and closer to me and I zapped it. I never once touched the man, ” said Wagner.
The Pasco County Sheriff’s Office says, in this case, Wagner did not have a right to use his taser and the video shows that he was the aggressor.
“Well, it’s understandable when people get involved in a traffic accident, emotions are high, you may be angry and you have to let law enforcement show up and take over the investigation,” said Doll.