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Old 06-12-2008, 08:11 PM
1,343 posts, read 4,410,948 times
Reputation: 816


June 12, 2008

Man's fight for respect nets theft charge

Staff Writer
PALM COAST -- An 80-year-old man apparently stole a rider's motorcycle to "teach him a lesson" for cutting him off in traffic, according to a Flagler County Sheriff's Office charging affidavit.

But it may have been the wrong guy's motorcycle.

John Petyo, Palm Coast, was arrested and charged with grand theft last week after taking a motorcycle that didn't belong to him from a post office parking lot, according to an arrest affidavit from the Sheriff's Office.

Petyo was released the same day from the Flagler County jail after posting $1,000 bail.

Petyo said he is a disabled World War II veteran and an ex-New Jersey cop with two replaced knees and is legally blind. The motorcycle incident is the latest skirmish in what Petyo calls his ongoing battle to get respect on the streets.

He travels everywhere on his electric scooter. And he's had a few accidents with motorists in Palm Coast in the past year. Luckily he hasn't been more seriously hurt, he said.

"I almost get killed every darn day and I'm fed up with it," Petyo said. "Drivers don't look -- they just step on the gas and go."

Petyo said that in one accident, a stopped motorist didn't see him in the crosswalk and struck him, causing minor injuries.

In a second accident, a motorist hit Petyo in an intersection crosswalk in April. But in that accident, Petyo "put himself in undue danger" by entering the crosswalk when he knew it might not be safe, a Flagler County Sheriff's Office report states.

In another incident on June 2, Scott McNeil was working on his roof in Palm Coast when Petyo called up to him to move his vehicle from blocking the sidewalk, according to a Sheriff's Office report. Before McNeil could move it, Petyo began beating on the trunk of the car, causing some minor damage to it, the report states. Petyo was not charged.

In February, Petyo knocked down some cones along Belle Terre Parkway because he said they were in his way and he couldn't ride his scooter on the sidewalk because a portion of it was torn up for construction. He said deputies talked to him but did not ticket him.

When a motorcyclist "pulled right out in front of me without slowing down" on June 7, Petyo went looking for the bike. Petyo said he decided to teach the driver a lesson after seeing the motorcycle later the same day in a restricted parking area at a post office in Palm Coast.

"I wasn't going to take it, wasn't going to wreck it, I just planned to move it," Petyo said.

"I figured I would walk it down just about 20 feet," he said. "That's all, just trying to prove a point."

But Petyo may have confused the bike he was moving for another.

According to the incident report, a postal employee said the owner of the motorcycle had been delivering mail all day and couldn't possibly be the person who cut in front of Petyo's scooter. He noticed Petyo pushing the motorcycle and insisted he leave it alone, the report states.

Petyo refused.

The bike's owner, Dave Zierk, told deputies he'd had no contact with Petyo, according to the report.

"Can you believe it?" Petyo said incredulously. "They charged me with grand theft."

In an interview earlier this year, Petyo expressed his anger toward motorists.

"I'm going to carry a gun," he said. "I'm going to kill someone. But they are trying to kill me. I don't give a (expletive). I'm 80 years old. I probably wouldn't even go to jail. I'd shoot myself."

Would he really shoot someone for blocking a crosswalk or hitting his scooter?

Petyo responded that he didn't mean it, adding: "I'd probably shoot the car."

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Old 06-12-2008, 08:19 PM
Location: Alabama
940 posts, read 2,201,810 times
Reputation: 899
I've actually had an encounter with this guy before. I was in my work truck, turning right and I had the green light, and here he comes. I can tell he ain't stoppin so I'm just inching around the turn and he freaks out, starts cussin me out, gets in the middle of the road to block me and says "MAKE ME MOVE!!". So I did. I just kept driving slowly and he got out of my way.
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Old 06-12-2008, 08:31 PM
1,343 posts, read 4,410,948 times
Reputation: 816
He's a traffic hazard. Why has he not been charged?
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Old 06-12-2008, 08:39 PM
Location: Alabama
940 posts, read 2,201,810 times
Reputation: 899
thankfully, he was charged with grand theft, it says in the article.
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Old 06-12-2008, 08:41 PM
Location: Sunny Florida
7,136 posts, read 10,068,774 times
Reputation: 9419
This old guy's a danger to himself and others. They better get him off the road before someone gets killed.
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Old 06-14-2008, 10:38 AM
156 posts, read 96,921 times
Reputation: 28
I have a short little story about motorcycles and scooters. Even though this guy might be a pain in the butt, I have been to Palm Coast, and it is like crazy-land up there now. People cant drive and they run red lights like crazy. I have even read several things about it on the paper. But this guy is on a scooter, and therefore we need to be careful and watch out.

In Orlando, a woman fell off of her scooter in a busy street and crashed her scooter on the busy road. Nobody stopped to help her, nobody. And people were passing by just looking and nobody willing to give a hand.
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Old 06-14-2008, 01:01 PM
1,343 posts, read 4,410,948 times
Reputation: 816
Since the scooter seems to be his only mode of transportation, perhaps he should have chosen a more urban area to retire. The streets he's traveling on are 4-6 lanes & 45 mph. Palm Coast is no place to live if you don't drive a car. Almost none of the residential areas are within walking distance of stores or doctors. He has no business riding in that kind of traffic.

It's obvious from his comments and FSUMike's post that he's the agressor. And Sunnydee's correct. Somebody's going to get hurt. This guy is crazy.
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Old 06-14-2008, 01:11 PM
156 posts, read 96,921 times
Reputation: 28
Where is this guy from that he feels the need to act this way?
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Old 06-14-2008, 01:17 PM
Location: Alabama
940 posts, read 2,201,810 times
Reputation: 899
According to the article, he's an ex-New Jersey cop.
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Old 06-14-2008, 02:52 PM
Location: Tampa Bay
598 posts, read 1,922,490 times
Reputation: 197
Oh I think he must have been up here in Clearwater not long ago! My hubby was driving thru a parking lot behind an old guy who slammed his brakes on to a dead stop and said he would blow my hubby's head off for getting too close (he cut my DH off!).

I had an 80+ old lady do the same thing (she was going 13? in a 25mph zone), spiked me several times then dead stopped and to my absolute amazement actually GOT OUT OF HER CAR yelling and flailing arms towards me like she was going to... hmm , not sure what exactly... kick my butt?? or something LOL I just drove around her and left.

CRAZINESS!!! Are they rationing their meds or something??
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