LAKE COUNTY, FLORIDA — A former Lake County police officer was arrested on charges of threatening to kill a group of bicyclists, WFTV learned.
Former Mascotte police officer, Richard Dillon, and a friend were driving in Howey-in-the-Hills last month, when they approached a trio of bicyclists along East Dewey Road.
An arrest report said Dillon threw something out of the window and then yelled at the cyclists to get out of the road.
The report said that one of the cyclists gave the men the middle finger. That’s when Dillon’s friend, Steven Nuzzo, slammed on the brakes, and the pair jumped out of the car, the arrest report stated.
“Mr. Dillon was accused of pulling a knife and threatening to cut them,” said Sgt. Jim Vachon, of the Lake County Sheriff’s Office.
The report said Dillon made a harsher threat: that he’d kill them. Nuzzo allegedly told them that he’d shoot them.
“Anytime you have something like this it’s distressing. Anybody who would get into an incident like this on the side of the road, who people don’t even know, not just a former law enforcement officer, but anybody,” said Vachon.
One of Dillon’s neighbors told WFTV he doesn’t seem violent.
“I’ve always thought of him as being normal, regular, respectable person here for the people,” said neighbor Dennis Lyons.
Dillon was fired by the Mascotte Police Department in mid-May for allegedly not returning to work after medical leave. He worked there for five years.
He was once named officer of the year for the department.
WFTV learned from a source that Dillon plans to sue the Mascotte Police Department, possibly for wrongful termination. But the mayor wouldn’t confirm that.
Dillon and Nuzzo remain in the Lake County Jail.