Juanita and David Corson of Frontier Drive in Palm Coast have a dog. The evening of Memorial Day (May 26), the dog was the subject of an argument with neighbors. By the time it was over, Corson, 70, was booked at the Flagler County jail on two charges of battery, a charge of burglary, and a charge of child abuse.
After the argument over the dog, David Corson allegedly became angry that the neighbors “had been confrontational and disrespectful to his wife,” according to his arrest report. Neighbors told a Flagler County Sheriff’s deputy that Corson then entered the enclosed patio and pool area of their property on Fulton Place, uninvited. They asked him to leave. He wouldn’t. When one of the neighbors approached him, he allegedly grabbed her by the arm and pushed her into the swimming pool. He then grabbed the arm of a second neighbor and attempted to do the same thing, unsuccessfully.
An adult friend of the neighbors was at the scene. He’d also told Corson not to step into the pool area. Corson, the witness said, was threatening to do harm to the dog that belongs to one of the neighbor children, “cursing and making threats to get a baseball bat and return.” At one point the witness went to the neighbors’ aid by himself grabbing Corson’s arm, but Corson freed himself. As he did so, he “balled his first up and struck” an 11-year-old boy in the chest. The 11-yeear-old had been upset and telling the 70-year-old man not to harm his dog.
After that, the witness said he was able to subdue Corson and get him out of the pool area.
When deputies inspected the 11-year-old boy’s chest area, they noted “visible red marks” from the alleged close-fisted punch. The neighbors asked to file charges against Corson. The child abuse charge is a third-degree felony. The burglary, because it was committed while committing another felony, is a first-degree felony. Corson posted bail on $6,500 bond and was released.
Note: a burglary is not a theft. Under Florida law, a burglary is the act of entering a property unlawfully, with the intent to commit a crime, or entering it lawfully but then proceeding to remain after permission to be there has been withdrawn, and then committing a felony.
Greg Kimball, the St. Augustine attorney representing David Corson, sent the following response to the article and the arrest. The response is unedited:
As the late Paul Harvey used to say “Now here is the rest of the story.”
David Corson is 75 years old. He has never been arrested previously. He has been happily married for 50 years to his wife Carol. He has both a bachelor’s degree and a MBA. He is retired and is an active volunteer at his church.
The alleged adult victims in this case have continuously broken the leash law and the Corson’s have been working with Flagler County Animal Control for the past 6 months to stop attacks on their dog when being walked on the street.
In this context, Monday, Memorial Day, the alleged victims’ two dogs charged at Carol Corson and the Corson dog. This resulted in the alleged victims going to the location and “getting in Carol Corson’s face” and yelling at Carol and causing a disturbance. Carol Corson did not respond.
David Corson, as a result of this incident, went to one of the alleged victim’s home to talk to them about the incident.
The conversation quickly turned into a shouting matching and a pushing and shoving scenario ensued involving both women and David Corson. At one point David Corson’s eye glasses were knocked off. Legally it is what is called “mutual combat,” albeit of a very minor nature. At some point in the struggle at close range the 11 year old, who had joined the fray, was struck by someone.
This episode has been blown completely out of proportion to the reality of the event.