Christopher Munson Accused of Strong-Arm Robbery at Flagler Beach 7-Eleven
FlaglerLive | June 25, 2013
Last Updated: June 26, 12:47 p.m.June 26 update: In an appearance (by video link) before Flagler County Circuit Judge Dennis Craig this morning, Christopher Munson’s bond was reduced from $10,000 to $2,000.
There was question as to the aggravated assault charge should stick, due to the nature of the gun used during the incident. It was a toy gun. “There is some authority that even if it’s not a real gun, if the perception is it’s a real gun, it can be aggravated assault,” Ben Fox, the assistant state attorney, told the judge during the appearance.
Craig imposed a no-trespassing order on Munson, applying only to the 7-Eleven in Flagler Beach where the incident took place. “Good luck to you Mr. Munson,” Craig said at the end of the hearing.
June 25–Christopher Munson, a 31-year-old resident of 713 South Daytona Avenue, has a history of assault, battery and other charges in Flagler County–a felony battery charge two years ago, battery and assault charges in 2010, fleeing and eluding police and marijuana possession in 2011.
Earlier today, Munson was jailed again on the most serious charges yet–strong-arm robbery and aggravated assault. He is at the Flagler County jail on $10,000 bond.
The incident took place between 3 and 4 a.m. at the 7-Eleven store at 408 South A1A, between South 4th and 5th Streets in Flagler Beach.
Edward Vaught was on duty at the store. According to a police report, Munson had been to the store a few hours earlier, “acting suspicious.” Vaught told police that he wasn’t sure if Munson was stealing, but he never accused him of it. But words were exchanged.
Munson, according to Vaught, then “came back into the store and appeared to be upset with what took place earlier in the evening.” A verbal altercation developed between the two men near the gift card isle, and Vaught asked Munson to leave. According to the report, Vaught refused. Vaught told Munson that he’d call police if he continued to refuse.
A surveillance video, viewed by the arresting officer, captured what followed next as Vaught went behind the counter to use the phone. “The video shows Christopher violently snatching the phone, appearing to hit [Vaught] at the same time before taking the phone away.” That’s when the physical fight began.
The video shows Munson pulling a black gun from his pants and pointing it at Vaught. The object turned out to be a plastic toy gun, but Vaught did not know that at the time–and Florida law defines a weapon used in the act of a robbery as anything that conveys the purpose of a weapon, whether real or not: whether a firearm is a toy, or is not loaded, is irrelevant, once a firearm or its likeness is used in the act.
At that point, the video shows Vaught rushing Munson and tackling him to the ground outside the store to hold him down. Police arrived at that moment, as Vaught was sitting on top of Munson, holding him down. Vaught released Munson when the cop arrived. Vaught was bleeding slightly from the mouth.
Munson was placed under arrest and taken to the Flagler County jail.