Man arrested for gun threats

A 51-year-old Summerland Key man was arrested Tuesday for threating people at a gas station with a handgun.

James John Pette was charged with improper exhibition of a firearm and possession of a firearm or ammunition by a felon.

Deputy Connor Curry responded to the Shell gas station on Summerland Key at approximately 10:15 p.m. regarding an armed subject. There were three witnesses present: An off-duty Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officer, the gas station manager and the gas station clerk. The suspect, later identified as Pette, was not present and reportedly walked across the street to a trailer park. Pette is known to the gas station employees as a resident in the trailer park.

The store manager stated Pette was cursing and talking loudly in the store when she told him he needed to leave. She stated he then displayed a handgun. The off-duty FWC officer and clerk stated Pette then walked to exit the store and said, “I’ll be back.” He then lifted his shirt and displayed a handgun in this waistband. Pette then stated, “You want some of this?” Security footage corroborated the three witnesses accounts of the incident.

Deputy Curry went to the trailer park and found Pette walking in and out of his residence. Pette did not have a handgun at that time. He denied having a handgun, but stated he did have a flare gun. He consented to a search of the trailer. The flare gun was found as well as a handgun matching the victims’ description.

Pette was taken to jail.