Man fires “warning shot” at teen during dispute over a phone purchase

Man fires “warning shot” at teen during dispute over a phone purchase.

On July 16, 2017, Port St. Lucie Police arrested Joseph Albert Giancontieri for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon after he fired a “warning shot” a teen during a phone purchase dispute.  Police also arrested the 17 year old Port St. Lucie teen for grand theft of a phone.

On July 16, 2017 at around 1:15 pm, Port St. Lucie Police went to the McDonald’s Restaurant located at 3199 SW Port St. Lucie Boulevard for reports of an online sales dispute.

The Investigation

Investigation revealed that Giancontieri bought a cellular phone for $300.00 from a 17 year old on July 15, 2017.  When Giancontieri was unable to connect the phone with a cellular service provider he arraigned for the 17 year old to meet him at McDonalds to return the phone.  During the transaction Giancontieri gave the 17 year old the phone back but was allegedly given counterfeit money.  Giancontieri gave the money back to the 17 year old and told him the money was fake.  The 17 year old said he would exchange the money at McDonalds.  The 17 year old went inside McDonalds then fled the scene on foot.

Giancontieri chased the 17 year old to a wooded location behind the Wal-Mart located at 3024 SW Port St. Lucie Boulevard.  While behind the Wal-Mart, Giacontieri pulled out a gun and fired a “warning shot” at the 17 year old as he ran away from Giacontieri.

Police spoke to both Giancontieri and the 17 year old.  Giancontieri told police that the 17 year old pulled a knife on him that is why he pulled his gun and fired a “warning shot”.  After the warning shot Giancontieri said that he continued to chase the 17 year old but lost sight of him.  Police located the 17 year old at the Wal-Mart.  When Police spoke to the 17 year old he denied having a knife and said that he lost the phone and the money during the chase.  Police did not find a knife on the 17 year old and were never able to locate the phone or the money.  A search of the area also failed to locate the spent shell casing where Giancontieri said he fired the gun.

Conclusion of the case

Upon conclusion of the case, police seized Giancontieri’s Taurus 9mm and arrested Giancontieri for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.  The 17 year old was arrested for grand theft of the phone.  Giancontieri was taken to the St. Lucie County Jail for booking and the 17 year old was taken to the Juvenile Detention Center.

This is a prime example of why Port St. Lucie Police has an online “Meet-Up” spot located at Police Headquarters.  Port St. Lucie Police encourages citizens to use the Meet-Up spot to complete online transactions for their safety.


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