ORLANDO, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35) - An Orlando man, accused of harassing a gay couple who lives next door, is in jail. Police say he attempted to run over two officers when they responded to an alleged altercation.
Nick Massoni says his next door neighbor, Howard Whitaker, has been harassing him and his husband since they recently moved into the Orlando neighborhood. According to police, officers were called out on Sunday night after Whitaker started yelling at Massoni's husband because of his sexual orientation.
Massoni said Whitaker was "screaming at us, calling us names, derogatory names and just became really unbearable, and police came out once and came out again." Massoni said they were concerned about their neighbor's behavior which they feared might turn violent. "He was acting like he was going to throw a big surf board over. He had big shells and plants, things that almost hit us."
Whitaker, 61, appeared in court and was held on a $3,500 bond. Officers said Whitaker was intoxicated when they showed at his home and was screaming at them. Then, he went back into his home. Shortly after that, Massoni said, "he just really went crazy. He pulled his car out and was hollering at police, backing his car up.
At one point, there was about six police cars out here."
Officers said Whitaker got into his car and was honking the horn and continued screaming. He then turned the vehicle towards officers and accelerated, causing them to jump out of the way. Luckily, no one was injured.
"He was basically teasing them with his car, like he was going to him them," Massoni exlained.
Whitaker finally stopped the car after an officer broke one of the car windows, they said. After that, they Tased him and took him into custody.
He is to have no contact with the victims or drink alcohol if he is released on bond. "I do think it was an isolated incident, and think it was just one person," said Massoni, "one bigoted, close-minded person, unfortunately."
Whitaker is charged with aggravated assault on a law enforcement officers and resisting an officer with violence.