79-year-old man arrested for confronting road workers with laser-equipped handgun

Pinellas County Sheriff's Office deputies arrested a 79-year-old man after he allegedly pointed a laser-equipped handgun at four contracted road workers in Seminole.

Jerome Miles said he was sure he was about to get shot.

"He had the gun in his hand and he turned the laser light on. He asked me do you know what this is?" Miles told FOX 13 News.

Jerome was part of a road crew who had an unexpected encounter with 79-year-old Nicholas Belmonte.

"He didn't have any emotions about it. He seemed dead serious," he said.

Jerome didn't know the man, but he knew his wife. Deputies said Belmonte's wife and another worker got into an argument Thursday morning, when she wouldn't pick up her dog's waste near the work zone. She left, and a short time later, Belmonte showed up.

"He was shaking the whole time, I don't know if it was just nerves or just because he was a shaky person. He was shaking and he kept fumbling around with the gun," said Jerome.

Jerome said Belmonte told him to drop his tools and to get into his truck. The whole time, he had the gun pointed at him and continued to threaten him.

"He pretty much held me hostage there, he had the light pointed at my face, telling me he was going to put a bullet through my brain," he said.

Belmonte eventually left Jerome and confronted three more of his co-workers. When they ran for cover, Belmonte took off. Deputies arrested him a short time later and charged him with four counts of aggravated assault.

"He claimed that his intent was just to scare these workers, because the one worker who had confronted his wife had upset her," said Sgt. Spencer Gross.

Pinellas County Deputies said Belmonte was completely out of line.

"It was an inappropriate action to a verbal confrontation which was all that it was between his wife and one the workers," said Sgt. Gross.

Belmonte bonded out of the Pinellas County jail on a $20,000 bond.