From Golf Digest:
....74-year-old Robert Levine is under arrest for attempted first-degree murder for shooting 64-year-old Herbert Merritt in the ankle and beating him with a golf club after he found Merritt walking his dog along the 15th hole of Kings Point Golf Club just before 7 p.m. on Sunday.
Here’s how it went down according to Merritt (as reported by WPBF News):
“Merritt told deputies he was walking his dog on the grass next to the golf course when Levine rode up in his golf cart and … began causing a verbal altercation with him due to having his dog on the golf course … He then began shooting at him while Merritt was running away.
Levine chased Merritt around a tree while continuing to shoot—Merritt said he shot about five rounds at him, according to the report and witnesses … he felt that Levine was trying to kill him.”
Yes, I would be fairly certain he was trying to kill you at this point.
According to witnesses, who called the police as they watched the altercation unfold, the semi-automatic handgun police found in Levine’s front left pocket a short while later wasn’t enough, however:
“Witnesses told deputies they saw Levine kick Merritt in the head, go back to his cart and get a club and begin beating Merrit with the club while holding the gun in his left hand. Deputies said they found shell casings on the ground and two golf clubs with what appeared to be blood on them.
Holy shit. Sure, classssssic Florida Man goofin' and whatnot but this is genuinely terrifying behavior, even if it was one of those annoying little white dogs with the booger stains coming out of its eyes. Not only could Levine have killed the dog walker, but - with how wildly he was shooting - other innocent bystanders elsewhere on the course, and in the surrounding housing.
Obviously not condoning it, but I can see how violence could break out pretty easily on a golf course. My theory is that since people have paid a lot of money & dedicated a solid chunk of time to this activity, they feel entitled to a good time.. And thus they get extra upset if they're not enjoying the round, especially if they believe it's someone else's fault that they're not. Also, ya know, it's often a bunch of guys who are boozing in the hot sun (though I haven't heard alcohol was involved in this particular case). Next thing you know a display of (perceived or real) disrespect like a lighthearted heckle, loud noises, players ahead of you taking their sweet time, a ball hitting the green you're putting on, etc…. could set things off like a bomb. Whatever the case I'm willing to bet 99.999% of pretty regular golfers have encountered some form of violence on the course.
But a man walking his dog along the course, not even directly on it, in the evening not long before the course closes for the day? Yeah ok, you're not supposed to have dogs in that area, but I can't fathom how anyone could take that so personally. It triggered Levine to the level of wanting to (allegedly) murder an innocent man and this isn't golf rage - this is just a bad person. I'd say he needs to go away for a long time & get at least 20 strokes added to that round.
As Golf Digest wrote,
A normal human would just let it slide and maybe (and we stress maybe) send an email to the club to keep an eye out for it moving forward. Levine pulled out a gun and started blasting.
I went to see if the country club had made any statement, but their Facebook page is currently locked. I'd imagine they're getting inundated with requests right now. And I'd imagine even Bob Barker would say this story is bananalands. Levine, you're actions were wrong, bitch!