There Will Be No Case of Florida v. Samuel Williams: 71-Year-Old Shot Two Men Perpetrating a Crime in a Florida Internet Café

August 1, 2012 by David S. Seltzer

It started off as a routine Florida crime. Two teenagers, Duwayne Henderson and Davis Dawkins, stormed into the Palms Internet Cafe in Ocala last Friday with a gun and a baseball bat. One of the 19-year-olds told the patrons “None of you [expletives] move!” and then smashed a $1,200 computer screen with the baseball bat.

Most of the patrons froze. But not 71-year-old Samuel Williams.

Surveillance footage reveals that Williams leapt to his feet, accessed a .380-caliber handgun that he had concealed on his person, and fired at the teenagers. He hit both of them (not fatally), causing them to abandon their robbery attempt and flee in panic out the front door. Fortunately, no patrons were hurt during the commission of the crime.

Henderson and Dawkins were arrested shortly thereafter and hit with charges of attempted armed robbery with a firearm in Florida and felony criminal mischief. Dawkins posted a $11,000 bond and was released from jail. As of this report, Henderson remained in jail due to the fact that he had failed to post a $31,000 bond.

One witness, Mary Beach, praised Williams for his fast action: “I think he is wonderful. If he would haven’t been there, there could have been some innocent people shot…I heard pop, pop; then pop pop pop, all at once.”

Williams had a concealed weapons permit, which in Florida allows someone to engage in deadly force if he or she has a reason to believe that someone will be seriously injured or killed – as long as that person is not committing a crime and is allowed to be in the vicinity.

An official from the state attorney’s office said as much: “Based on what I have seen what I know at this time, I don’t anticipate filing any charges [against Williams].”

Henderson and Dawkins might not be so lucky.

If convicted of attempted armed robbery and felony criminal mischief, both teenagers could spend several years behind bars, be stripped forever of their right to vote in elections, and suffer numerous indirect consequences of their behavior.

If either teenager had a prior criminal record, the situation could be even more complicated.

What should you do, if you or someone you love has been accused of a serious Florida crime, like robbery or attempted robbery?

Investigating your case – and constructing an appropriate defense – can be a delicate business. Even subtle mistakes made in preparation can drastically complicate your legal situation. Connect immediately with the Seltzer Law, PA, team, by calling us toll-free at 1-888-THE-DEFENSE (888-843-3333), any time, 24/7, to get answers to your urgent questions and to begin a strategic path to your defense.