Tempers flare, guns shown, two arrested


The frustration in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma apparently is giving way to tempers two and a half weeks after the Category 4 storm swept over the Florida Keys.

Monday, two men, one from Marathon and one from Stock Island, were arrested on gun charges in separate incidents, one because someone was annoyed over a blocked gas pump at a convenience store and the other because someone parked on the street in front of his house.

In Marathon about 8 p.m., the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office says, Jose Oliver Jr., 36, pulled a revolver on a driver parked behind him at the gas pumps at the Circle K next to Burger King around 109th Street and U.S. 1. The driver behind Olivera’s truck said he felt Olivera was waiting too long to leave so he honked his horn, Deputy Becky Herrin, Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman, said.

Olivera and a passenger “jumped out of the truck” and began to yell at him, then Olivera reportedly pulled a revolver on him, got back in the truck and drove off, Herrin said.

Sheriff’s Office Sgt. James Hager heard a notice to be on the lookout for the truck and spotted the black extended-cab Toyota on Aviation Boulevard near the Coconut Cay Resort at U.S. 1. Olivera didn’t stop at a stop sign turning from Aviation onto U.S. 1 and Hager pulled him over and ordered the couple out of the vehicle.

“In plain view” in the truck, Herrin said, Hager saw a silver semi-automatic handgun. The other driver at the Circle K ID’d the couple as the people who threatened him at the pumps. That driver insisted to Hager, though, that the gun was a revolver, not a semi-automatic.

Hager backtracked the truck’s path from the Circle K and found a black Ruger .38 caliber revolver at Aviation Boulevard and U.S. 1, Herrin said. Olivera, “visibly impaired” and smelling of alcohol, told Hager he tossed gun out of fear, Herrin said.

He faces charges of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, improper exhibition of a firearm, use of a firearm while under the influence of alcohol and tampering with evidence. Tuesday, he remained in jail with no bond allowed.

Stock Island

Also Monday, around 6 p.m., Todd Pelanchar, 48, of Suncrest Road on Stock Island was jailed with no bond allowed for allegedly threatening a neighbor with a handgun over a parking space.

Herrin said the alleged victim told police he was parked on Suncrest Road when Palenchar confronted him about parking in front of his house. During the confrontation, the victim said, Palenchar pointed a silver handgun with black handle and laser sight at him. Palenchar told deputies he had a gun in his waistband during the confrontation but only lifted his shirt and showed it, Herrin said.

But police found in Pelanchar’s house “a number of guns,” including a Sar Arms handgun with a laser sight that fit the victim’s description. Deputies also found a pipe with marijuana residue inside the house, Herrin said. Palenchar faces aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and possession of drug paraphernalia charges.

Larry Kahn: 305-440-3218