Tampa Fla Nov 15 2016
The victim in this case, Jose Escoibio said he was just trying to get home early Saturday evening after a long day of work. He was headed west bound on Fletcher Avenue when he said the car in front of him kept braking.
"And he flicked me off so I threw a coin at his car because I was you know upset, " said Escoibio.
But what happened next —will stay with him forever.
"I'm shaky you know what I mean, " said Escoibio.
Deputies said an off -duty security officer, Elias Areces, not only followed Escoibio about half a mile to his home but also pulled out his gun. Areces had just left his job at Save-A-Lot still dressed in uniform
"He was trying to citizen arrest me and his handcuffs just fell to the ground," said Escoibio.
In that split second Escoibio reacted.
" I just clocked him in the face. I hit him because I was scared for my life," said Escoibio.
Then the confrontation took another unexpected turn. According to the arrest report, Areces fired three rounds into the ground and then continued shooting. Many of the bullets hit Escoibio's truck.
"The first shot he shot at me I started ducking and I jump the gate," said Escoibio.
He ran across the street banging on neighbors doors. One woman who did not want to be identified told Action News.
"I was terrified. I saw everything and what alarmed me more was this man was in uniform and then I saw the guy he was shooting at running towards my house. He banged on the window and then he ran to the side of the house," she said.
She called 9-11 and deputies arrested Areces. The 23 year old bonded out of jail and we tracked him to his home.
Areces refused to answer any questions but’s he’s facing multiple felonies which could not only cost him his job but also his freedom if convicted.
Escoibio is just glad it’s over and he’s also thankful—he tells me he has a gun permit too.
"If I had pulled mine out, it could've been a lot worse, " said Escoibio.
Action News found no prior criminal history on Areces. But we did discover he filed a lawsuit over a traffic incident with a Public employee just last week.