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Argument Over a Dog Leads to Burglary and Child Abuse Charges Against 70-Year-Old

| May 27, 2014

David Corson

David Corson

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intent to commit a crime, or entering it lawfully but then proceeding to remain after permission to be there has been withdrawn, and then committing a felony.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.

22 Responses for “Argument Over a Dog Leads to Burglary and Child Abuse Charges Against 70-Year-Old”

  1. m&m says:

    What makes a good neighbor is a good fence..

  2. Rick Belhumeur says:

    What prompted the burglary charge?

  3. Viet Vet says:

    Awww….Good old Palm Coast, the home of Generation X-Y an Z LOSERS. And the older generation that just wants to be left alone and undisturbed. But, the times are a changing, and the Po-Po won’t PROTECT and SERVE the elderly anymore. One has to defends one’s honor and spouses honor by themselves and face CRIMINAL CHARGES for being a TRUE AMERICAN !!!!

    • snapperhead says:

      Since when do “true americans” assault 11 year olds for a barking dog? Gramps could’ve just turned down the volume on his hearing aid. He ever harmed a child like that in my presence and criminal charges would be the least of his problems.

    • Nancy N. says:

      Sorry but being over a certain age doesn’t suddenly turn you into a genteel saint. And it certainly doesn’t give you permission to enter other people’s property against their express wishes, and start assaulting people physically – especially children. You punch an 11 year old, you give up the high ground and just become a scumbag child abuser.

      We had an older neighbor for a long time that terrorized this entire section of the neighborhood. I lost track of how many times the police were at the house for various disturbances. Age does NOT equal maturity. Especially if the person has an alcohol, drug, or mental health issue.

  4. Allz I know iz... says:

    Boundaries people, we need to have boundaries and respect others. 70 years old and behaving like this? Could there have been a bit of John Barleycorn involved? Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmm?

    • Mary says:

      How about people learn to control their kids, pets and tempers. I am quite sure they were all probably liquored up a bit. There is nothing enjoyable about listening to a barking dog for any length of time. I have 2 Chihuahuas and when they get to barking I close the blinds or doors to stop them. A little respect for neighbors will go along way to preventing this trailer park mentality from overcoming Palm Coast.

      • maryann says:

        There’s no mention of any alcohol here so it’s asinine for you to assume it – and regardless – it’s unacceptable for an adult to put their hands on someone elses child, enter property that is not yours, etc. The old shit should have called the cops and filed a complaint. I’d of shot him for coming on my property!!!! He’s lucky he’s here to talk about bail. Elderly does not entitle you to anything. MUTUAL respect does.

        • Mary says:

          @Maryann – first of all we will all be “old shits” some day even you. I totally agree that it is unacceptable to put a hand on anyone’s child or enter a property that is not yours. It would seem that this has been going on for a while for it to escalate to this.

          I am 67 and I guess I am considered an “old shit” BUT I have the utmost respect for my neighbors. I have 2 pets and 5 grandchildren that visit on a regular basis and would NEVER allow them to disturb my neighbors. Being elderly certainly does not entitle you to anything and mutual respect is certainly where it is at. Shooting someone is not the answer, it will just put your butt in jail for a long time and for what? A stinking barking dog! It would seem that a large dose of maturity is needed on both parties in this situation. Sad all around.

      • A.S.F. says:

        @Mary says–Yes, I am sure that the 11 year old that was assaulted was quite liquored up and deserved it.

  5. A.S.F. says:

    I’m Having Deja Vu here. Remember Paul Miller?

  6. ssdd says:

    the City and FCSO needs to do more about noise complaints from barking dogs at all hours of the night and day. They pass the buck. How about making people go to court and making them accountable. It’s not the animals – it;s the owners!

  7. fl girl says:

    I tell you what, he would have two broken legs if he hit a child or an dog or cat in front of me.thank god i have great neighbors,with kids,dogs and cats.I don’t care if they are 20 or 70 you don’t hit a child for no reason.

  8. are you for real says:

    In todays world I think there is not alot of respect for the elderly. Just remember that each and everyone of us will be there. Some will be there gracefully and others well, you know. I hope that when the younger generations has problems with the elderly we keep our mouths shut go inside and call police they will handle it. Sometimes it takes a few calls to alert someone of whats happening. Their are a lot of elderly people here all alone and no one to monitor their regressions but a few calls to police they will get the right people to come and check on the elderly. Just remember you will be there sooner than later.

    • Nancy N. says:

      Respect for the elderly? I respect people who EARN it, and just managing to stay alive for a certain number of years isn’t earning it. You earn my respect through your actions and your character. Punching 11 year olds – no matter what was said to you beforehand – is not action and character worthy of respect.

      It has not been reported whether the neighbors were actually unreasonable or disrespectful in their actions and words that Mr. Corson came unhinged about. All we know is that David Corson was angered by them. Given his irrational and violent outburst in response, including assaulting a child, it is hard to trust his perception of his neighbors’ actions. His judgement is questionable, to say the least.

      I can tell you from YEARS of experience dealing with our own crazy neighbor that the police’s ability to deal with unhinged old sick people is limited. Calling does nothing except perhaps remove the person for a day or two at most while they post bail and then they are back, more pissed than ever and an even bigger threat.

      • Mary says:

        Not all crazy neighbors are elderly. When I lived in NY we had a house on an acre of land. Neighbor was younger than us and crazy as a loon. He Had no kids & put a fence up around his house like Fort Apache. My daughter was riding her bike and touching his law. He came over screaming like a crazy man that we had to pay for the damage. My husband nicely showed him to the door & informed him that we would call the state police if he ever came on our property again.

        My husband then proceeded to tell my daughter that if she went near his lawn again he would break her bike into a hundred pieces. No problem after that and we lived next door for 25 years. Respect must start at a very young age. Sometimes people do things just to bust chops. IMHO

        Unfortunately the houses in Palm Coast are ridiculously close together and privacy is almost impossible. Not the best place to live for young families.

    • ryan says:

      respect for nice elderly people, not those who try to start trouble.

  9. A.S.F. says:

    Respect for the elderly does entail mean letting their assaultive behavior go unchecked. I agree that this gentleman probably needs a serious physical and psychological evaluation. The police WERE called. If he was entering my property unchecked and in a menacing manner and assaulting my child, I might well feel the need to intervene myself. And the man apparently has a wife. He is, according to this report, not living alone. Sometimes, it is not a matter of people incurring new problems as they age (although, it could be.) Sometimes, mean young people become meaner middle-aged people who become even meaner old people.

  10. the yard is fenced. no one at the house that was invaded even drinks alcohol at anytime, so no one there was drunk and he is not much older than the people he attacked. So if you don’t have your facts don’t make ridiculous untrue comments. As to the other comments about his wife you don’t have all the story and you don’t know about his dog in question and it has nothing to do with barking!!!

  11. Sherry Epley says:

    For those bothered by barking dogs. . . there are devices sold at pet stores . . . that produce high pitched sounds (that are safe, but uncomfortable for dogs) when yours or your neighbor’s dog barks. About $40
    can create some peace and quiet in your neighborhood. If poor Paul Miller only knew. . . How about a little common courtesy and neighborly respect regardless of one’s age?

  12. Geezer says:

    Urban sprawl + miserable inconsiderate humans = Palm Coast, FL

    The is only but one symptom of the breakdown of our society,
    We have children being raised by teachers and the internet, mom and dad
    toiling away at work or getting high.

    We now have old people who are undignified in appearance and behavior.
    Too many people who are mad at the world…..
    I understand the older fellow’s frustration, especially with his wife being insulted by his neighbors.
    (They sound so classy.)
    But the old timer crossed a boundary by touching the child. What gonads and cojones


    Anybody wanna buy a traffic camera?

  13. confidential says:

    Neighborly respect…? some of the one’s moving here lately are totally antisocial.
    We have a couple of those in our street and finally were easy down by spending good time in jail. For about five years we had to endure, eyesore accumulations like discarded toilettes displayed as personal art in the center front lawn for close to a year for the city to be able and enforce compliance. After that two discarded tires hang in the front wall with plastic flowers on them, chainsaw and tools noise day and night verbal attacks and life threats as public name calling and the f you all words displays, parking on the street because double driveway always full of working tools and items being repaired…
    Others openly run discarded items and drugs sales (junkyards) from their garage and driveway displays making a real hard task for the city enforcement to have them clean up and stop.
    I firmly believe these individuals move to FL because they think that here they can get away with anything and respect for others and laws do not have to be observed.

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