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Police Beat: Security guard arrested for acting like an irresponsible cop

April 8, 2014

A security guard probably thought he was doing a good job yesterday when he escalated a minor altercation into a debacle – one in which gunshots were fired.

As is usually the case, there are two sides to this story. On the one hand is 34-year-old security guard Claudy Petit Frere’s version of events, and on the other is the version recounted by Malinda Barconey and four other witnesses (three of whom are her relatives).

The incident occurred past 9 p.m. at Nassau Bay Apartments on North Orange Blossom Trail. Barconey was involved in what one witness described as a “not too serious” altercation with another woman over a missing purse.

Petit Frere later told officers that it was a “large fight” that kept reanimating itself, and that everyone ignored his orders to disperse from the area. He called the police and ordered the more aggressive girl (Barconey), whom he said didn’t live there, to leave.

That’s when, according to Petit Frere, Barconey punched him in the face, prompting him to declare, “You are under arrest because you disrespected my uniform and my state license,” apparently referring to his guard card.

So he continued playing like a real cop and tried handcuffing Barconey, which she resisted with the help of her son, Marquan. Petit Frere said they began punching him “everywhere,” and that several other nearby people joined in. He said they were trying to take his pistol from its holster, so in fear for his life he drew and fired two shots behind himself as a warning. Marquan Barconey kept fighting and threatening to “kill him,” Petit Frere said, but the security guard was able to eventually cuff Malinda.

In the four witnesses’ and Malinda Barconey’s version, the fight was over when Petit Frere came on scene. Malinda said, “Nothing” was wrong, and that “Everything is OK” before trying to walk back inside the apartment complex. But Petit Frere said, “It don’t seem that way,” and persisted after her. Malinda pushed the security guard away, according to two witnesses, and Petit Frere grabbed her by the arm and began dragging her toward the parking lot.

That’s when Marquan started playing tug-of-war with his mother’s other arm, and Petit Frere discharged the shots behind him. At one point after the shooting the guard let go of Malinda in the struggle, said one witness, but he recovered his grasp, slammed her to the ground and handcuffed her.

When police came on scene they said that Petit Frere, wearing tan tactical BDU pants, a blue “Signal 88” security polo, and a belt with a baton and pistol attached, had a “nice and neat appearance with his shirt undisturbed and properly tucked into his pants.”

Further revelations included a video of the incident going down, shot by Dona Barconey, who stood with her 5-year-old child in the breezeway of the apartment complex where police recovered two bullets that lodged there when Petit Frere tried to fire his gun off in a “safe direction.”

Due to the bullets striking an occupied building where multiple people stood watching this shit-show go down, and the fact that Petit Frere was not a law enforcement officer, the security guard was arrested and charged with multiple felonies, including false imprisonment with a weapon, battery, improper exhibition of a firearm, aggravated assault with a firearm and use of a firearm in commission of a felony.

“Petit Frere had already called police due to the disturbance and had no legal reason or authority to restrain Barconey,” the police report reads. “There is currently no Florida statute prohibiting the disrespecting of a security uniform or state security license, which was Petit Frere’s reason for the arrest.”

The guy must have really thought a guard card put his authority on par with a sworn police officer: According to the arrest affidavit, Dona Barconey’s video shows Petit Frere yelling at the woman he just manhandled and cuffed, “Anything you say can be used against you,” not realizing, ironically, that it would actually be used against him.

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