She says she held a rifle to scare off other boaters. There’s more to the story, deputies say

Lelena Sue Moses
Lelena Sue Moses Monroe County Sheriff's Office

She told Monroe County sheriff’s deputies that she held a rifle to scare off boaters who were “sneaking around” her houseboat.

But the boaters told deputies something different..

Now Lelena Sue Moses, 51, has been charged with aggravated assault with a weapon without intent to kill, jail records show.

The bizarre incident began just before 3 a.m. Tuesday in the water off Blimp Road near Cudjoe Key.

Someone aboard a boat called the sheriff’s office to report that shots had been fired from another boat. A minute later, someone else called, the sheriff’s office said.

“The second caller - identified only as Moses - told the Sheriff’s Office that she and her husband were on their houseboat anchored off Blimp Road.

“Moses told Sheriff’s Office Communications Specialists that she and her husband were armed and that her husband fired two warning shots at two boats that were bothering them.”

Moses told a deputy that “the two boats came very close to their houseboat.” She said she felt threatened and “instructed her husband to shine a spotlight on her while she was holding an AR-style rifle,” according to the release. It was her husband, she said, who fired two warning shots into the air with a 9mm pistol..

The sheriff’s office then joined forces with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission to investigate. The boaters told investigators that “they never saw Moses’ husband fire any shots, but they did see Moses with an AR-style rifle.”

Neither boater understood why shots had been fired in the first place or why Moses considered them a “perceived threat,” the sheriff’s office said.

“They stated a woman, later identified as Moses, was ordering them to stop and to not move, but they were confused as to why Moses was behaving in a such a way,” the sheriff’s office said.

Investigators found Moses and her husband in their houseboat Friday on Big Pine Key. She was released Saturday on $5,000 bond, jail records show.