A man has been arrested after allegedly threatening reporters who were covering the shooting death of a 2-year-old in Lakeland on Tuesday, Polk County deputies said.
According to an affidavit, two reporters from Fox 13 News in Tampa arrived on a Lakeland neighborhood about 4:30 p.m. to report on the death of the boy when Mark Jerome Bonar, 48, 2525 Cetra Court, came out of his house and demanded the reporters leave. Bonar also demanded that the reporters not speak to his mother, who was standing near the street.
The victims moved down the street and exited their van. Bonar again confronted the reporters, holding a metal cane topped with a skull in a threatening manner and shouting profanity, the affidavit said. He also told them that although he had recently been in the hospital, he could still fight them, and he repeatedly told them to leave the area.
As other news crews arrived, Bonar returned to his home, but continued to harass the crew verbally from his driveway, the affidavit said.
A reporter from ABC Action News in Tampa said Bonar also harassed him from his driveway.
Deputies went to Bonar’s home to speak with him, and he said he had been in a dispute with some news people for talking with his mother and parking near his driveway. He said he later attempted to apologize to them and believed his conduct warranted an apology, the affidavit said.
Bonar said the metal cane was his Halloween cane.
Bonar was booked into the Polk County Jail where he was held without bail. He have first appearance on Thursday.