A white Tampa Bay man with a long history of criminal violence, was videotaped pulling out a semi-automatic firearm on a Black man and his daughter, claiming they were blocking his property. After the man realized he was being filmed, he threatened to sue the unarmed landscapers.
On Thursday, July 7, David H. Berry of Fat Finger Construction pointed his AR-style gun at Jeremy Lee and his 22-year-old daughter Carrie Lee as they were completing a landscaping project across the street from his house.
Berry’s tirade is captured on film by Carrie, whose decision to film may have saved her father’s life, considering the man’s sorted violent past.
According to Pinellas County Court records, in the past, Berry has been charged with at least three felonies, including battery and burglary. The nature of those charges aligns with the explosive disposition he displays in the clip.
At the top of the footage, Berry aims his weapon at the elder Lee, barking, “This is my property, you’re not allowed to block my driveway, don’t be a prick!”
Jeremy seems to have already acquiesced to his request, saying, “I told you I’ll move.”
The landscaper’s response seems to have made the Clearwater resident even more irate. He retorted, “You think I’m playing, punk ass, your daughter better take record of how stupid her father is!”
He then turns to the daughter and says, “Keep recording, if it goes online, your ass will be sued too!”
According to the family, Berry came up to them and suggested they were blocking his driveway with their business trailer.
While the video seems to suggest the trailer was not impeding entrance to the driveway, at one point when the gate was down to take out the lawnmower, it found itself in the street in front of the man’s property, the daughter tells the Creative Loafing Tampa Bay outlet in an interview.
This ignited the man’s full fury.
As he stands in the middle of the street, Jeremy says to the man, “You pulling a gun on a guy on city property?”
But Berry would not listen. He snapped back, “This is my property and I’ll do what I want, do not block somebody’s driveway!”
Frantically, the homeowner is scattering over his lawn before approaching the Lees with his weapon. Despite warning Carrie to stop filming him, she says, he pulled out his camera to record them.
Eventually, the father calls the Clearwater Police Department. They arrive after Berry puts away his gun. However, Carrie’s cellphone footage was available to support their version of the altercation.
The officers, who witnessed some of Berry’s outlandish antics, reportedly did nothing to de-escalate the ordeal. Instead, the cops told them there was nothing they could do.
The CPD released a statement about their response to Berry’s behavior, saying they are “actively investigating this as a potential case of aggravated assault with a firearm.”
“On scene, our officers were given conflicting stories from those involved. David Berry told officers he retrieved his gun after being threatened by Jeremy Lee,” the communications manager shared via email with the press. “Jeremy Lee said David Berry pointed the weapon at him as he threatened him. Jeremy’s daughter said she captured the entire incident on video; the video did not show the weapon being pointed at anyone.”
The department wanted the public to know that “often, it takes time to sort through these cases to determine if charges are warranted. We are still in the process of doing that.”
Carrie says the events of that day have traumatized her, even days later. She stated that before she started filming, the man said he was going to shoot her and her father dead.
“I was so shocked that the reaction didn’t set in for a while,” Carrie confessed before sharing she was “terrified.”
“I am still terrified that someone would do this while we were just trying to do our work.”
The incident was reposted on Instagram by popular comedian and radio host, D.L. Hughley.
He captioned the post, “MORE AUTOMATIC WEAPONS IN THE HANDS OF THE WRONG PEOPLE…”
For Florida, the state where this all happened, the gun laws are complicated. Some on the right are calling for them to be more relaxed, while those on the left are asking for more safeguards.
The state has currently banned “open carry,” so people cannot “publicly carry a legally owned firearm that is kept in plain sight or partially concealed, usually holstered.” If your weapon is concealed, you must obtain a license.
Ironically, according to the Tallahassee Democrat, “Florida does not require a permit or license to buy a gun and does not require registration.”
There is an age requirement starting at 21 (unless you are in law enforcement).
The state requires those who want to buy a firearm to have background checks that can take between three-to-five day waiting period before it is complete.
However, once you get pass those background checks, there is no limit to how many guns one can purchase in a single transaction.
One major restriction regarding guns is that convicted felons are not allowed to have them. Berry, despite having been charged with three felony assault charges, had those reduced to misdemeanors.
He is still legally eligible to carry.