OKEECHOBEE — A local man was charged with aggravated assault after allegedly trying to run over an amputee at Walmart.
On March 9, Okeechobee City Police Officer Jessica Francis was dispatched to Walmart after a report of a disturbance. She met with the complainant, who told her he had been in the parking lot waiting for a handicap spot to open up, because he is an amputee and always tries to park near the entrance.
While driving around looking for a spot, he noticed a vehicle about to leave and got behind it to wait for the spot to open. As he waited, a man in a white van, later identified as 67-year-old Anthony Accardi, approached and began yelling and cussing at him. Deciding to ignore the man, the complainant continued to sit there. After the complainant parked, Accardi got out of his vehicle and came to his window, still yelling and cussing.
After words were exchanged, the complainant got out of his vehicle and walked towards the store, but before he made it, Accardi got back in his van and pulled forward nearly striking him. Because he was startled, the complainant pushed his cart toward the van to fend it off and it struck the front quarter panel.
Accardi then got out of his van and shoved the cart into the complainant, causing him to fall to the ground. Accardi began to come toward him, and the complainant, who only has one leg, was unable to get up and in fear for his life, pulled a weapon. Accardi stopped in his tracks and got back in his van, leaving the parking lot. The report notes the complainant does have a concealed carry permit.
Accardi was charged with battery on a person 65 years or older and with aggravated assault on a person 65 years old or older. His bond was set at $12,500.