An apparently drunk Key Largo man was jailed Friday night for allegedly shooting at a U.S. Coast Guard boat from his dinghy. Daniel Szabo, 40, is charged with felony fleeing and eluding.
The Monroe County Sheriff’s Office says deputies were dispatched to 51 Shoreland Drive in Key Largo to Jules Undersea Lodge marina. Witnesses called to report Szabo had a gun and was acting strangely. When Deputy Gil Gonzalez and Sgt. Sydney Whitehouse arrived shortly after 9 p.m., Szabo had already left on a dinghy, the Sheriff’s Office says. The witnesses said Szabo was drunk and waving a gun around and held it to his head before taking off in the dinghy.
Deputy Becky Herrin says Whitehouse saw Szabo as he left heading to open water. The Coast Guard and Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission responded by water to help.
At one point during their attempts to apprehend him, Szabo crashed his dinghy into mangroves and fired his gun at the Coast Guard several times, Herrin said. He also rammed a Coast Guard vessel. At one point as officers ordered him to surrender, Szabo reportedly yelled “shoot me!”
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Szabo was finally caught and handcuffed and brought to shore. The Coast Guard is pursuing federal charges.