Flagler Beach has not been the most welcoming city to Doug “Bruno” O’Connor, the 62-year-old former Beverly Beach city commissioner who’s been building a mansion of a house on A1A by South 27th Street, with eyes on a run for city commission there.
For about a year that he’s been building the house, he says his neighbor on the same block, Wayne L. Herboldt, has been harassing his crews “for no reason.” On Tuesday, a fence crew was at the job site, and Herboldt “tried to tell the fence guy he didn’t know what he was he was doing.” Herboldt was disputing the survey line dividing the two properties. Things got out of hand between him and O’Connor.
At one point Herboldt approached O’Connor with a knife as the two were arguing, though Herboldt dropped it after O’Connor told him to, but the two bumped chests, and Herboldt was arrested on a charge of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, a felony, and battery.
But not before O’Connor was held at gunpoint: O’Connor was in the back of the construction zone, on the phone with 911. He was calling in to report the disturbance with Herboldt.
The 911 dispatcher had told him to stay on the phone until law enforcement showed up. Suddenly, there comes a cop–Flagler Beach Police officer Evan Scherr–gun drawn and yelling orders at O’Connor to drop his phone and get on his knees. “He’s pointing a gun at me, and he says get on your knees,” O’Connor said in a brief interview, “it was something like out of nightly news.”
The officer handcuffed O’Connor before realizing he had the wrong man. “It was later determined that I was misadvised of Bruno’s identity as a ‘prank,'” the officer reported, noting that one of the workers had described the assailant as a man in the backyard wearing a red shirt. (O’Connor, in disbelief at what he’d experienced–I could feel the gun pointed at my head”–said he gave a clear description of Herboldt to the dispatcher. “You could tell probably by the inexperience of the cop how he was screaming. I’m a pretty big guy. Maybe he was intimidated by my size.”)
The issue on Tuesday arose again over a dispute about the property line, as has been the case for a year, O’Connor told police. As the fence company was preparing to do its work, Herboldt, 68, came out of his house allegedly cussing out the workers and claiming they were on his property. “He was holding a large knife and attempting to harass the contractors,” his arrest report states. O’Connor asked him to leave the workers alone. The argument escalated between the two men as Herboldt got into O’Connor’s face, holding the knife and yelling obscenities.
Herboldt eventually dropped the knife after O’Connor told him to, the report states, while the argument continued. By then O’Connor believed Herboldt was ready to harm him, and sought to pursue charges.
Herboldt in his interview with officers conceded there’d been a heated argument and that he did “bump” O’Connor’s chest, but that the knife wasn’t used threateningly. He said he’d grabbed the knife to trim bushes impeding construction of O’Connor’s fence. O’Connor told him he’d have to remove the entire bush. That enraged Herboldt, he told police, so he got into O’Connor’s face, but dropped the knife. He said he had no idea why police were called.
Herboldt was booked at the Flagler County jail on a third-degree felony charge and a misdemeanor battery charge. He posted $5,500 bond and was released.
O’Connor has been attending Flagler Beach City Commission meetings in preparation for an eventual run, but he says he’s not yet ready to decide one way or another. “I have to make myself established,” he said. “I can’t run not knowing anybody and nobody knowing me. When I ran for Beverly Beach everybody knew me, my character, what I stood for. That’s what I have to do over here.”
OMG the wild wild West has hit Flagler Beach. What is this world coming to? People aren’t polite like they used to be. I was always taught treat people with honey not vinegar. It appears these adults weren’t taught the same thing.
And that Flagler Beach Police Officers needs more training that is not good what he did to the complainant.
Cool. Drawing weapons over a fence line. Gotta love the intellectual level of Florida. Save the weapons for serious problems, like someone cutting down a bush.
Flagler Native says
“Me” obviously hasn’t been here long and has no recolection of when Flagler Beach was the wild west lol.
Get a grip this is just Florida. Yankees go home 🤷🏽
This state would be a cesspool without us “Yankees” you ignorant “Yahoo”.
Karen Curry says
Thank you Anthony says. I find on a daily basis that Flagler Beach has some of the rudest, unfriendly, provincial, exclusionary residents in the state.
Yeah, these rubes need to learn some etiquette from carpetbaggers from New York and New Jersey. Right, “youse guys”?
Flagler Expatriate says
I think there must’ve been some kind of Mariel boatlift event in Jersey, Pittsburgh and New York at some point recently. Instead of shipping all the undesirables to Miami they gave them all a bus ticket to Flagler county.
My former neighbors in the C section of Palm Coast we’re some of the rudest, intrusive, nosey, trespassing and aggressive a$$holes I’ve ever encountered. These Pittsburgh idiots tried to start a fight on my property because my landscapers were black and got lawn clippings in their yard. My wife was outside in the middle of the yard while the guy was hurling insults at the landscapers. She could have been critically injured if I hadn’t defused the situation and prevented a fight. Sounds very similar to this story.
Palm Skee says
“Yankees go home”? So, what have YOU contributed to the healthy growth and vibe of Flagler County? If this would’ve happened in Palm Coast, you’d be waving your “don’t make me cross the bridge shirt”!
I used to bump heads with my teacher Bill Forehand over his opinion of “northerners messing up Florida” meanwhile he was a transplant from Kentucky posing as a surfer/biker. I wonder if he still feels that way, being that he and his wife received a fat check from big shot developers that’s are about to change Flagler Beaches entire landscape. But, hey whatever.
The attitude of many people living in Flagler Beach is it somehow makes them feel extra old time southern or something being there. Their “crime is Florida crime”, or that happens everywhere”. Heaven forbid suggestions for changes are made or a negative is pointed out. They lose their minds like someone kidnapped and ransomed Mr. Roarke and Tatoo back to them.
Obviously, Mr. Herboldt is hating on Mr. O’Connor, for the fact his tiny house will be locked in a perpetual cycle of “shade”. That picture at the top of the article shows it all. A prefect, example of cultures clashing, and how Florida and Flagler Beach still attempt to hide behind the laid back, stuck in time persona. When actually it’s cunning, passive aggressive viewing everyone else as Dennis the menace and they Mr. Wilson. What’s Mr. Wilson without Dennis the menace? A grumpy old man, with weathered skin that has nothing to do with himself.
Trailer Bob says
“Yankees go home”?
We live in a “country”, we are Americans, people can live wherever they like in America.
But somehow you equate some idiot living in Flagler as a “Yankee”?
glad Herboldt is not my neighbor, appears he needs a couple hobbies
Don’t be so quick to judge. Until you understand the “character” of the other side who is notorious for claiming that other people are ruining their lives and that they are always the victim.
This officer has been involved in numerous questionable incidents. The Chief should address this asap. I don’t buy the prank story. I’m quite sure the dispatcher relayed the descriptive information to the officer. Pointing guns and handcuffing innocent citizens is pretty serious.
KEN Hawrey says
Officer Evans was doing his job. People need to comply with officers on the scene, not question law authorities or complain about. Be thankful office Evans was there to respond. Let police do there job . Thank you officer Evans for your continued service. Shame on Flaglerlive for wrongfully titling this article.
911 First Responder
When your house is on fire you call a fireman not a local politician.Same goes for when your house is being robbed you call the police.Officer Evans was doing what he was trained to do.What if officer Evans was stabbed to death by being to passive with the situation.Would you still title your article the same way?
Jordan Wells says
Doug run for City Commissioner next February/March. We need a fresh perspective on the Dias!
Joseph Wittrock says
The interactions I’ve had with Officer Scherr, he’s been courteous, polite, and respectful. The citizens of Flagler Beach are lucky to have this young man as a police officer.
Flagler Native writes “get a grip this is just Florida”, that it is ok that someone pulls a gun on someone for a ridiculous reason. What does that have to do with where people come from? Let me guess he is a Trump supporter?
Just to let you know I was born and raised in Florida but I was blessed to have parents that taught me right from wrong and to have manners to thy neighbors.
april aldrich says
The only gun being pulled was by a cop
Jay Tomm says
I’d be mad too. Someone building a 2 story mansion next to my run down shack. Poor guy gets to view a concrete wall from his window.
First Hand says
It’s hardly a mansion. Take another look!
Happening now says
Many early homeowners now see concrete in front ,in back ,and beside. . Very different view of this barrier island now.
Oh its coming says
Comments are getting more violent now days. I sense anger in EVERYONE. Trouble is brewing and the pot is about to over flow.
I sense society most re-live the past in order to grow forward. Don’t shoot until you see the whites of their eyes.
Concerned Citizen says
The older white males of this county just can’t seem to help themselves.
Every time they make the papers it involves a pissing contest. From our BOCC and our City Commission to Joe Citizen the disrespect runs bold and rampant. It’s actually a shame that law Enforcement can’t take away their weapons and let them duke it out behind a building. Might tone some of this bluster down when they realize it’s harder than it looks.
Let’s learn to get along again and respect each other. Life is short.
Trailer Bob says
Right on the money! WTF is wrong with people today? I somewhat attribute this ignorance to lack of higher education…AND how they were brought up.
Perhaps there should be some “constructive” discussion of dimensional standards of homes in our county. Living in Flagler Beach, it seems all the new houses are what I call Mc Mansions that run almost lot line to lot line. If we do not pay attention, we will be creating a concrete jungle bit by bit.
I’m a Florida native who has lived in NY and CA. It really seems my sweet childhood days of “Southern Hospitality” is long past. . . along with the “Golden Rule”. Why? Why? Why? Are neighbors so very rude to one another? Where is all that anger coming from? Why is it becoming all too common for people to post “rants” against others. . . saying “they” should leave? Why do we have people like that in public office? Joe Mullins with his “this is trump country and all others should leave” statement comes to mind. Where has our love for one another gone? Where has our polite society and civility gone?
Surely, when you really think about it, all this hate and anger cannot be how you really want to live. Is a society of fear and hate what you really want to grow? Because. . . when you look at the “big picture”. . . that is exactly what you are creating. . . bit by bit.
Be extremely careful what you ask for. . .
@ Sherry says … NAILED IT!
The man was on the phone unarmed so what the hell you talking about the officer getting stabbed
Thanks so much, Just_Saying.
Now that I am learning much more about the algorithms of “Social Media” and how Facebook in particular is responsible for repeatedly feeding to it’s users content that contains misinformation and “conspiracy theories” filled with fear and hate, I’m starting to see a pattern.
For the sake of your own happiness. . . try disengaging from “any and all” activities that do not bring a smile to your face. Remember things like how “powerful and positive” you felt when you stopped smoking/went to the gym . . . even for just a day. Make a conscious effort to build your own happiness and kindness towards others brick by brick. . . like you did when you pushed back from the dinner table before dessert.
Happiness comes from within, but it shines brilliantly from your face. Now, that is the kind of contagious thing we really want to share with us all. “Spread Random Acts of Kindness”!