|ST. PETERSBURG -- A 71-year-old man was arrested for firing a
gun at three men beating up his 63-year-old friend, striking one of
the men in the arm, deputies said.
Melvin B. Spaulding held
up his .22-caliber pistol and told the men to stop hitting and
kicking his friend George Lowe. When they didn't listen, he fired
the gun, Pinellas County Sheriff's spokesman Tim Goodman
``I'm sure he was
concerned for his friend's safety...,'' Goodman said. ``The use of a
weapon to stop a confrontation is not the right way. He would have
been better off calling 911.''
James T. Moore, 20, was
treated for the gunshot wound at Bayfront Medical Center and was
arrested for an unrelated battery charge earlier the same
Lowe said the altercation began Sunday night when he
heard loud noises outside his home and discovered a group of young
men pounding on cars and shouting. When he told them to stop, they
attacked him, he said.
Spaulding, who had no criminal record
in Florida, acknowledged firing the gun, according to sheriff's
records. He was being held without bail in Pinellas County
The Pinellas-Pasco State Attorney's office would
carfully investigate the case before deciding whether to file an
attempted murder charge against Spaulding, prosecutor Bruce Bartlett
``As far as I'm concerned, he's my hero,'' said Lowe,
who suffered a torn leg muscle, bruises and a sore back in the
fight. ``He's my friend, but he's also my hero.''
not be determined whether Spaulding or Moore had attorneys.