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Crime and Punishment

74-year-old Florida Man shoots man in ankle, beats him with golf club for walking dog on Delray Beach golf course

When it comes to the great state of Florida, nothing surprises us anymore. Gators could fly, the Everglades could freeze, and Disney could be cut off from the political teet (OK, that last one actually happened), and we would hardly bat an eye. So great is its capacity for chaos. So long has it reveled in it. And yet we can’t help be shocked by this story out of Delray Beach, where 74-year-old Robert Levine is under arrest for attempted first-degree murder for shooting 64-year-old Herbert Merritt in the ankle 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.”

According to witnesses, who called the police as the altercation unfolded, the semi-automatic handgun police found in Levine’s front left pocket a short while later wasn’t enough:

“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.”

Thankfully Merritt survived the ordeal and was transported to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries, but clearly this is no laughing matter. You’re not supposed to be walking your dog on an active golf course, but this is a 64-year-old man we're talking about. There were only a few minutes of playable sunlight left. A normal human would let it slide and maybe (and we stress maybe) send an email to the club to keep an eye out for it. Levine pulled out a gun and started blasting.

In a world where there’s seemingly a Flordia Man inside each and every one of us trying to get out, this is proof (and perhaps solace) that there's no substitute for the original.