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Palm Coast Man Faces Child Abuse and Assault Charges After Firing a .357 During an Argument

| July 9, 2014

James d'Esposito.

James d’Esposito.

James D’Esposito and his wife had just been celebrating his birthday. He turned 44 on Tuesday. It was late evening, past 10 p.m. in Palm Coast’s L Section. They’d been out. D’Esposito was drunk, his wife told 911, and the two began to argue, with D’Esposito saying “not so nice” things to his wife.

Three children were at home, age 18, 13 and 6.

During the argument, D’Esposito’s wife told cops, he went to the master bedroom, took out a gun and fired. Fearing for their safety, the children’s mother immediately sent the three children out of the house. One of the children would later tell a deputy that she’d heard loud yelling, doors slamming and what sounded like a gun shot, while another child told deputies that as she was leaving the house, she heard D’Esposito threatening to kill himself, according to D’Esposito’s arrest report.


As one deputy was traveling to the site of the incident and reviewing incident notes and history on the address, he saw that at least three firearms were usually kept in a safe in the house. During the 911 call, the operator heard the woman tell her “she didn’t know what was going to happen,” while in the background D’Esposito was heard yelling. The victim disconnected the 911 call after D’Esposito “begged” her to.

When the deputy–Frank Gamarra, a military veteran–arrived at the scene, the couple were standing outside the house, at some distance from each other.

The woman related the incident to Gamarra, and D’Esposito consented to a search of the house. By then other deputies had arrived at the house. A fresh, single bullet hole was found in the ceiling alongside two others which appeared to have been covered up by screws, D’Esposito’s arrest report states.

The suspect then ushered deputies to the safe, where the guns were stored. Deputies seized three guns, including a .357 silver Taurus that holds six rounds. When Gamarra opened the cylinder, he located five libve bullets and one shell case from a fired bullet. “The .357 had an odor consistent with that of a firearm that had just been fired,” Gamarra reported. “I could recognize the distinct odor of a recently fired firearm from my military and law enforcement training and experience in firing firearms.”

Based on the circumstances of the incident, with D’Esposito’s wife in fear for her safety and the threee children’s safety compromised, D’Esposito was arrested on charges of aggravated assault-domestic violence, and child abuse, and booked at the Flagler County jail on $3,500 bond, where he remained on Wednesday afternoon.

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25 Responses for “Palm Coast Man Faces Child Abuse and Assault Charges After Firing a .357 During an Argument”

  1. Stand your ground says:

    Keep your BUSINESS to yourself and don’t get DRUNK and shoot your guns off around your paranoid wife and young children. This country’s police force has become militarized brown booters that look for ANY chance to take your firearms and Constitutional Rights away from you by charging you as a felon…..DON’T give them that opportunity !

  2. ⓖⓔⓔⓩⓔⓡ *an Anglophile Audiophile says:

    This stuff is getting out of hand. If you can’t control your drinking and your temper –
    sell your firearms amd buy a nice hi-fi system, and calm the savage beast within by
    taking in some Brahms. I recommend Piano Concerto No. 1. Clifford Curzon or
    the Leonard Bernstein, Krystian Zimerman (piano) version.

    There’s beautiful things in this life to explore. Getting mad, endangering your family
    and acting like a nut aren’t necessary. How about being thankful to have a family
    and a roof over your head?

    No excuses for domestic violence.

  3. A.S.F. says:

    Just a regular guy, enforcing his second amendment rights to act like a fool. Dad of the year and a match made in Heaven. Happy Birthday.

    • JMC says:

      A.S.F….The Second Amendment says absolutely NOTHING about acting like a fool. And he is NOT enforcing his right, he is abusing it. In fact, if the LAW was enforced the way it should be, he loses his RIGHT to own ANY firearm. But thank goodness the legal system has found away to let felons keep their firearms.
      Haven’t you noticed we keep passing more and more laws and not enforcing the ones we have in the first place?

      • Genie says:

        Good point, JMC. Maybe somebody should look into how he qualified to have a gun in the first place. Your last sentence is absolutely correct.

        • gun control says:

          The would be the 2nd Amendment of the US Constitution, preventing the government from banning firearm ownership, and Florida Constitution Section 8:
          “SECTION 8. Right to bear arms.—
          (a) The right of the people to keep and bear arms in defense of themselves and of the lawful authority of the state shall not be infringed, except that the manner of bearing arms may be regulated by law.”

          Also helpful is
          “790.335 Prohibition of registration of firearms; electronic records.—
          (1) LEGISLATIVE FINDINGS AND INTENT.—
          (a) The Legislature finds and declares that:
          1. The right of individuals to keep and bear arms is guaranteed under both the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution and s. 8, Art. I of the State Constitution.
          2. A list, record, or registry of legally owned firearms or law-abiding firearm owners is not a law enforcement tool and can become an instrument for profiling, harassing, or abusing law-abiding citizens based on their choice to own a firearm and exercise their Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms as guaranteed under the United States Constitution. Further, such a list, record, or registry has the potential to fall into the wrong hands and become a shopping list for thieves.”

          You’re going to have to change the laws before you can make firearms register like criminals.

  4. Anonymous But a Regular Poster says:

    I am shocked and disappointed at Jim’s actions. There is no excuse for this behavior. If I did not know him I would draw the same conclusions as most of you. However, he is a good father who works 60 hours a week to support his children. He has endured years of at least emotional abuse, and probably should have left this situation years ago, but did not for the sake of his children. Again, while not defending his actions, I will defend him as a father, as bizarre as that sounds after seeing this. Every human being has his/her breaking point. If there is anything to be learned from this, it’s that sometimes leaving is a better alternative than staying in a bad situation. Using hindsight, this could have been a LOT worse.

  5. kelly says:

    So sad I’ve known him since he was 17 he’s been a family friend, he should have left his wife a Long time ago. I’m not condoning what he did at all. Just so sad cause he truly is a really good guy that got caught up and now messed up his life. He is a great ad always has been but sadly alcohol can make u do stupid things.

  6. Obama 2014 says:

    Another good guy showing his 2nd Amendment rights.

    • Anonymous But a Regular Poster says:

      Nope….another guy ABUSING his second amendment rights, as well as abusing his “right” to drink alcohol. I am not defending either. I am only saying he is not a bum, a bad guy, or a loser. He has shown enormous restraint for many years, apparently to his own detriment. I would have lost it long ago in the same situation.

  7. A.S.F. says:

    And just how are we supposed to protect ourselves against people who “abuse” their Second Right amendments when they “have had enough”, or make poor life choices and decide “they just can’t take it anymore?” Add alcohol to the mix, shake and stir and we all know what happens next. This is a tragedy for this entire family, no doubt. Thank God no one was killed or gravely injured (yet.) But there are many dysfunctional families and people out there…and too many guns within easy reach of them in a moment of “temporary” (or permanent) insanity. I feel sorry for these children, growing up in an unstable environment like that. If parents can’t get along, they should find a way to solve their problems without dragging their kids into the crossfire. Divorce, as sad and difficult as it may be, is preferable to death.

  8. gun control says:

    So do we figure the gun had a birth defect or some other ailment? I mean it’s a killing machine, it went off but everyone is alright. Should it be tested for diseases? Something must have been wrong for it to have been used and the crazed person holding it going to a rubber room instead of the grey bar hotel.

  9. Anonymous But A Regular Poster says:

    A.S.F. I can no easier answer that question than I can answer “How do we protect ourselves from that drunk driver approaching us in the opposite lane?” We know the carnage caused every year by drunk driving. I’m a non-drinker, and could not care less if they banned alcohol tomorrow, but I don’t advocate that because it would harm those folks who have an occasional drink or a glass of wine with dinner and harm no one. I don’t believe in punishing those people because of the bad behavior of others; my feelings are the same with guns. I know of a lot more lives ended or devastated by the effects of alcohol than guns. Regardless, it was not my intention to debate alcohol and gun rights. I just feel if they are going to place this man’s picture and dirty laundry, (as they have every right to do) on the front page, I cannot in good conscience let people reach the conclusion that Jim is just another moron who got his mugshot in the paper. I only wanted to give a little background and ask that everyone understand he is a good man that did a bad thing, and judging from your response, I think you know what I’m saying, and I thank you for that.

  10. Eugene Hartke says:

    He should be thankful that he is not a black woman, otherwise he’d be looking at 20 years in the slammer.

  11. Mike says:

    Alcohol, the most under regulated drug we have, put your big boy pants on and do not drink if you do not know when to stop or what you can handle. Sorry I have zero tolerance for alcoholic muscles, have a few drinks and become an asshole who now also owns a gun, makes the rest of gun owners look bad. They need to now ban him from owning a firearm for the next 5 years to start, he needs to prove he is responsible enough to own one again, hope he gets himself straightened out ASAP.

    • ⓖⓔⓔⓩⓔⓡ Don't taser me dude! says:

      I’d let him own a water pistol in five years.
      He also shoulders the burden of demonstrating before psychiatrists
      that he won’t waste water resources.

  12. Eugene Hartke says:

    The last white man who did something like that got 6-months probation. Actually, he did even worse; after an argument his wife and child(children?) fled to her parent’s home. He followed them and when denied entry, he fired a gun into the house. Probation – not a 20-year jail term; it’s Florida justice.

  13. A.S.F. says:

    @Anonymous but a Regular Poster–You obviously know this fellow and, therefore, have some sympathy for him. But, if he was unknown to you (and perhaps another age and/or color and/or of another kind of background), your words might not be so sympathetic. It’s ALWAYs a different story when someone we know and care about is involved in a bad act. And, no matter what the provocation, this was a bad act–where innocent children could have been hurt. Your friend should lose his privilege to own a firearm. He has shown himself to be too much of a risk to have one, by his own actions. He should be thanking God that no one (especially his own children) DID get physically injured. If he is as good a guy as you say, he would have found it very difficult to live with that. And, if you truly care about this man, you will stop making excuses for him and urge him to get help for his alcohol and relationship issues.

  14. Lester Jinkens says:

    Yes, count your lucky stars, that you’re not Black..yall have different laws. However I dont feel sorry for some who gets drunk and act stupid. If this has neen an ongoing situation he should have left.
    but I’m sure he’ll get a slap on the hand lil probation. . Few fines.

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