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Charges Dropped: European Village Store Owner Was Falsely Accused of Gun Assault

| December 2, 2011

Palm Coast Gold Buyers at European Village. (© FlaglerLive)

On Sept. 30, Dan and Edith Ferrena, owners of Palm Coast Gold Buyers, a store catty-corner to an entrance at European Village, had an unhappy encounter with a customer. Joshua Newby, 28, was with his wife, a friend and five children, three of them his. At one point everyone was in the store as Newby was looking at a watch, and the Ferrenas, who had two other customers inside–a small store the size of an average living room–became concerned about the children’s behavior.

Edith asked the adults top take the children outside, politely, she says. The request was not taken kindly. It all went downhill from there, to the point that Newby and Ferrena confronted each other, exchanging angry words, and with Newby unleashing what may be the single-most injurious verbal offense in English at Edith. When it was all over, Dan found himself in a cop car, on his way to jail, on an aggravated assault charge for having allegedly threatened Newby with a 9mm Walther PPS, allegedly pointing it at him and his children’s direction. Ferrena denied all along that he pointed the gun at Newby or cocked it, though he didn’t deny merely displaying it.

On Tuesday, the State Attorney dropped the charge against Ferrena.

Edith and Dan Ferrena (FlaglerLive)

The store had a surveillance video. It was turned over to the state attorney’s office. It did not corroborate Newby’s version of the story, Ferrena said. Rather, it showed that Ferrena acted in legitimate self-defense after Newby (who was himself jailed for armed burglary and larceny in Port Orange when eight years ago) charged him. “The state attorney played the video back to him and said, look, you’re lying,” Ferrena said, relying on his attorney’s account of Newby’s encounter with prosecutors.

“Justice prevailed,” Ferrena said.

The case attracted wide attention at the time: it happened around lunchtime in a very public place, involving a store owner who’s been at European Village for two years, and who says he’s never had a parking ticket, let alone faced anything worse in the court system. It’s not over for Ferrena.

“I had to fight to get my criminal record dismissed,” he said Friday. “Now it’s dismissed. Now it’s a long road ahead to get the record expunged, which costs time and money, but the process has been started already it’s been put in motion.”

Even when a charge against a defendant is dismissed, the court record still reflects the charge, and, officially, the defendant must admit–if and when asked–if he’s ever been charged with a felony. It’s possible to expunge the case. But it may take years, the defendant must bear all the costs, and there’s no guarantee–because of the arcane nature of the proceedings–that the record will be expunged.

There’s also the matter of Ferrena’s damaged reputation, though everything else, he says, is “intact.” That, too, has to be repaired. The Ferrenas are “exploring all kinds of things,” Dan Ferrena said, including possibly civil action against his accuser. “My attorney said that giving a false written statement, a sworn statement to deputies as all his people did is a criminal offense, so that’s up to the state to pursue that with this individual, him and his cohorts,” Ferrena said.

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19 Responses for “Charges Dropped: European Village Store Owner Was Falsely Accused of Gun Assault”

  1. Kendall says:

    I hope he sues the jerk that made the false claim. Wasn’t the guy a teacher or something?

  2. Johnny Taxpayer says:

    I’m glad the storeowner had surveillance, and it is a shame that his reputation is now irreparably damaged as a result of this false charge.

  3. Jim N says:

    Is the state going to prosecute NEWBY? I mean after all if the plaintiff lied about the discourse of events, then what he did was not only unjust and rude, but entirely criminal as well! JUSTICE is supposed to be about doing the right thing. Lets do the right thing!

  4. Do the right thing says:

    I think everyone who posted nasty remarks about the store owners in the original story now owe them an apology. That’s what happens when you jump to conclusions.

  5. palmcoaster says:

    Congratulations to the Ferrena’s and their attorney. This delinquent needs to be punished for lying as well all others that lied on his behalf to the sheriff deputies on site. How come the deputies didn’t take Newby too and only took Mr. Ferrena to jail? That shows that prejudice is alive and well….maybe Ferrena should also get some fair financial satisfaction from the Sheriff as well, for one sided bias unjust imprisonment. As they took in the honest citizen and protected and let go the real crook.
    Video camera documents are the best allies we can have in court, I learned as helped me in the same way many years ago in NJ and I have them around my house and so far proven to be a great vandalism and delinquency deterrent here..

  6. lol says:

    I feel bad for the store owners. I remember reading the article, and it’s a shame that a store owner has to brandish his firearm and fight with a potential customer in his own store. A store housing numerous valuables and abundant fragile material is no place for children. If the kids can’t behave, they shouldn’t be in the store. If they ask the children to leave, that’s a right the owner of the store/property has. Ignorant people love to flip out when they feel threatened, but the ignorant never seems to recognize when they create the problem in the first place.

    Good for you Mr. Ferrena. I hope your record is expunged soon, and I hope you do collect some form of compensation from the false accuser.

  7. Layla says:

    Dan and Edith Ferrena are good people. That is the reputation that will stick with me.

    I would agree that the state’s attorney should charge Mr. Newby with filing a false report and Mr. Newby should pay the court costs for all this.

    Otherwise, what is to prevent every hustler from trying the same?

  8. Oh I am so glad for the Ferrenas. It’s insult over injury that they have to bear all these monetary costs through no fault of their own! Next time Dan Ferrena if some guy walks into your store trying to make a quick buck under false pretenses make sure you call the police first and have him cuffed and thrown in jail where he belongs for troubling innocent people!

  9. justacitizen says:

    And he’s raising children. And so is his wife and their friends that backed his story. Whoopee.

  10. patty says:

    I agree with palmcoaster. When there is an altercation, the cops need to assess the situation properly instead of believing one side’s complaint as gospel truth. At the very least they should have taken both Ferrena and Newby to the station and have some senior officer sort out the facts. In this case, the cops on the scene clearly showed their lack of training and perhaps also their prejudice. Its a pity that the Ferrenas had to go through this ordeal because of the despicable action by the crook and his cohorts, and the incompetence of the cops on the scene.
    I wish the Ferrenas well in their endeavours in clearing the record. From now on and especially during this season , my friends and I will be taking all of our business to their store to show our support.

  11. ANON says:

    The Deputy that arrested this man could have taken the time to investigate this matter, do the same thing as the state’s attorney and look at the video.
    This man wasn’t running anywhere. Investigate and then get a warrant if need be.

    These police are often in a all fired rush to arrest someone, anyone, as fast as they can.

  12. says:

    welcome to the police state we are all living in….I agree the cops need to do a better job upfront before arresting people and costing then a lot of money to have to proven themselves right when all along they were right

  13. Preston says:

    Innocent until proven guilty ? Not in this country anymore. Now an honest business owner who pays taxes in this county has to PAY THOUSANDS of DOLLARS to clear his police record which he should not have. I would sue both the loser who caused this and the sheriff dept for FALSE ARREST.

  14. some guy says:

    Wow I did not know even after you have felony charges dismised one must still say they have had such a charge against them. that seems so wrong if one is not found guilty in a court of Law a charge is nothing as we all see with this case. i know I will be helping in my own small way by getting my wife a little something for christmas from their shop.

  15. Kip Durocher says:

    I was in that store one or two weeks before this incident happened. Mr. and Mrs. Ferrena were very helpful, knowledgeable and upbeat. The whole thing mystified me when I first read about it.

    The best recourse for them is to sue the individuals who had them arrested and insist that the State’s Attorney prosecute for false statements and as co-defendants in the false imprisonment charge.
    Then sue the Flagler Sheriff’s Department for false imprisonment and arrest specifying that the charges be stricken upon outcome of the court. Remember to insist that the FBI national database and Homeland Security be notified of the bogus charges and reply when they are removed from the system.

    Lotta’ work but it is about the only way to ensure a clean record is gotten back.

    And always include that the losing party pays the cost of the winner’s defense.

  16. patty says:

    I agree with everything Kip D above has said . The miscreants should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. What is this place coming to when miscreants are allowed to file false charges and get away with it? Their actions clearly pointed to a scam where they were looking to rip off the unsuspecting store owners, one way or another.

    Newby, with armed burglary charges on his record, was not only looking for that but did so by misrepresenting himself as a doctor. ( I wonder if it is a crime to make such a misrepresentation?)

    What is even more sinister and troublesome is that, if Newby and his cohorts, do actually work in the hospitals in Daytona or Ormond or wherever, what is to stop them from pulling all sorts of scams on unsuspecting and vulnerable patients? I suggest that the hospitals take a second look at these serious shenanigans before more people are scammed and hurt and the hospitals have a big time liability on their hands.

  17. John C says:

    lesson one:… police before you display a 9mm….weapons should be used when confronted with a weapon, otherwise…CALL POLICE!

  18. I agree with Patty. Newby should not be allowed to work in a hospital! He must be robbing the patients there. The hospital administration should really check this Newby person out before allowing him to continue to work there. I wouldn’t advise my family or friends to go to the hospital where Newby works!

    I like what some guy says. I will do all my Christmas shopping at the Ferrenas store just to help them out after this horrible ordeal they had to go through and now spend more money to clear their name!.

    And God help us if we cannot do what Americans stand for…..a man is innocent until proven guilty! Hey Mr. Sherif get your guys to arrest the real criminals like Newby and not take the easy way out by arresting and innocent man who is the real victim!

  19. ??? says:

    Mr. Ferrena displayed a firaearm lets not forget that he admitted to that. Anyone familiar with the law knows that it is illegal to display a firearm even if you dont fire it. The police arrested him because he broke the law. Looks like Mr.Ferrena found a loophole and got lucky this time. The police did their job, when someone breaks the law they get arrested. And please we all know that guilty people go free everyday! Does it mean they’re innocent! No! Everyone who is so happy for Ferrena should be because he could be in jail for life had he fired his weapon. The newbys are lucky to be alive and Mr. Ferrena is lucky to be out of jail.

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