Editor’s Note: This is the 10th in a series of articles published by The Apopka Voice in 2016 that were the most noteworthy events of the year. The Apopka Voice will publish them starting Monday, December 26th and running until Sunday, January 1st. On January, 2nd we will publish a poll and let the readers decide on which story is the most impactful of the year.
Originally Published: August 13th, 2016
It was supposed to be a very different day in the greater Apopka area. The sun was shining, traffic was steady, and there wasn't a cloud in the sky. However the last weekend before children return to school in Apopka took an unexpected turn at 9:30 AM, when the Orange County Sheriff’s Office responded to a 911 emergency call in reference to a man with a gun and possible explosive devices at the CVS Drugstore on the intersections of State Road 436 and Wekiva Springs Boulevard.
According to Deputy Rose Silva, the Public Information Officer of the OCSO, deputies located a black male with multiple firearms in the CVS parking lot upon arrival. He was later identified as Charles Warren Jr., 50, of Apopka.
Deputies evacuated the store as they attempted to communicate with Warren. The Orange County SWAT Unit was also dispatched. Deputies attempted to negotiate with Warren, who made no threats and who had injured no one, but was mostly non-responsive to them according to Silva.
A later investigation revealed Warren is known to the area and is mentally disabled.
After nearly five hours, deputies saw Warren on the sidewalk and called out to him, but he did not respond to their commands. SWAT deputies shot Warren with two nonlethal soft rounds sometimes called "bean bags" and restrained him, according to Silva. Deputies took Warren into custody and transported him to Florida South for mental and physical evaluation. Warren did not suffer any injuries.
Deputies recovered a BB gun from Warren's waistband, and no explosive devices were found at the scene.
The OCSO did not arrest or charge Warren "because there was no intention behind it," according to Silva.
The incident took over five hours to resolve and blocked traffic to two major intersections that are arteries to and from Apopka, Altamonte Springs, Longwood, Orlando, and the Wekiva Springs communities.
Multiple agencies including the Apopka Police Department, the Seminole County Sheriff’s Office, the Florida Highway Patrol, and the Orange County Fire and Rescue responded to assist in the standoff.
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