Buckingham man arrested for child abuse after pointing pellet rifle at neighbors

Published: August 5, 2022 5:30 PM EDT
Updated: August 5, 2022 6:33 PM EDT
Rifle
Christopher Smith mug shot. (CREDIT: LEE COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE)

A man pushing a young girl to the ground and pointing a pellet rifle at his neighbors in Buckingham was arrested Thursday.

According to the Lee County Sheriff’s Office, Christopher Smith, 44, was arrested late Thursday night.

Smith’s neighbors, along with other friends and family members, including a young three-year-old girl, were all together outside in their yard.

Then, Smith entered the neighbor’s yard, screaming profanities, and pushed the three-year-old girl to the ground.

Smith then walked back to his house and came out a few minutes later with what seemed to be a rifle pointing it in the neighbors direction. Smith continued unrelentingly screaming profanity at his neighbors for some time. When Smith eventually went back inside his house, his neighbors called 911.

Deputies went to 396 east Buell Drive, attempting to contact Smith, but he wasn’t there. His cousin, Daniel Frey, answered the door instead. Frey, unsure of what was going on, explained to deputies Smith was not home and left a few minutes earlier on his bicycle.

With Frey’s permission deputies did a safety sweep of the house and found a large black rifle on the couch in the living room. The firearm was seized because deputies didn’t know where Smith was and for safety.

Later, deputies identified the rifle as a Gamo Shadow Whisper pellet gun which was found loaded with a pellet in the chamber.

Deputies then found a man matching the description of Smith traveling southbound on Buell Dr. on a blue bicycle. Deputies attempted to stop Smith with a lawful command, to which Smith initially refused. Again, deputies gave a lawful command to stop directed at Smith, and this time he got off of the bike.

Smith was detained by deputies, put in the back of the patrol vehicle, and transported to the Lee County Jail as a disorderly arrestee.

Florida Department of Children and Families was notified from an online report. Lee County EMS went to the neighbor’s house and reported nobody was injured in the incident.

From the investigation it was determined that there was enough evidence to charge Smith with child abuse.