Upset Giants fan accused of shooting at sheriff's deputies near Ocala


Richard Braccia, center, calls Detective Clint Smith, left, a liar while being escorted out of the Marion County Sheriff's Office Tuesday morning in Ocala. Braccia was arrested on charges of domestic battery and shooting at sheriff's deputies early Tuesday morning.

Doug Engle/Star-Banner
Published: Tuesday, December 4, 2012 at 9:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, December 4, 2012 at 1:15 p.m.

OCALA – Authorities say a Silver Springs Shores man upset that the Redskins had beaten the Giants fired multiple shots at sheriff's deputies who came to his home early Tuesday after his wife called 911 to report domestic violence.

No deputies were hit.

After evacuations and an hours-long standoff, Richard Braccia, 50, surrendered and was charged with three counts of attempted homicide on a law enforcement officer and one count each of tampering with evidence and domestic battery, according to the Marion County Sheriff's Office.

At the Sheriff's Office, while being escorted to a vehicle on his way to the Marion County Jail, Braccia said he has been a Giants fan for about 30 years. Braccia insisted he has been "falsely accused" of shooting at deputies. He admitted firing shots from his house, but said they were not directed at anyone.

As for the domestic battery charge, Braccia said he "didn't touch her."

"You're a liar … tell the truth," Braccia said in reference to sheriff's deputies reports.

Shortly after midnight, the woman called the Sheriff's Office saying her husband had been drinking, was upset over the football game, and was pushing and shoving her. She told deputies her husband was loading his firearms in a bedroom and stated that there was going “to be a shootout” at the home.

Deputy Matthew Bowers arrived at 5 Juniper Trail Course and talked with the woman in the front yard, according to sheriff's officials. He then went inside the residence and, while in the front doorway, heard Braccia in the home. The deputy announced who he was and ordered Braccia to leave the residence. The deputy said Braccia then came out of the bedroom with a handgun in his left hand.

The deputy said Braccia fired several shots in his direction as he left the home and ran into a wooded lot across the street.

A second deputy, Eduardo Bustamante, arrived and heard shots.

Thinking the first deputy might be in the home, Bustamante ran inside. He came out quickly when Braccia fired several shots at him and told him to leave, according to sheriff's officials.

Bustamante, along with a third deputy, Daniel Barker, who had just arrived, ran for cover behind a truck as Braccia continued firing shots at them with an AK-47.

Other deputies arrived on scene and set up a perimeter around the home.

Meanwhile, deputies said, Braccia continued to fire shots randomly from the front and back of the home with an AK-47, a shotgun and a 9mm handgun.

The Special Weapons and Tactics team was called. Using their armored Bearcat, they evacuated more than a dozen neighbors from area homes.

After several hours of negotiation, Braccia surrendered.

No one was injured, but the side of a deputy's vehicle was shot multiple times with a shotgun and, possibly, a handgun.

"I'm thankful that no one was injured during this incident," said the watch commander, Capt. Eric Rawls.

Detective Clint Smith talked with Braccia’s wife and she told him her husband was drinking all night and was destroying the home. She said when she confronted him about his behavior, he threw her against a wall. When she called 911, she said her husband went to a bedroom and it sounded like he was loading his weapons.

In addition to windows in a deputy's vehicle being hit by gunfire, several windows in a black truck in the driveway also were damaged by gunshots.

Braccia told Smith he and his wife had an altercation and his wife called 911. He said he went into his bedroom and began loading his 9mm Ruger handgun, Mossberg shotgun and an AK-47 so he could defend himself from sheriff’s deputies.

Braccia said he fired shots from all three weapons while inside his home. He said he was aware of shooting at a marked vehicle, but stated he did not intentionally shoot at deputies.

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