Six weeks shy of her 18th birthday and a day before leaving for California “forever,” Matanzas High School student Noelle Tirado decided to get together with a couple of friends and play with the toy gun she got for Halloween—an assault-rifle lookalike whose orange tip was blackened. According to witnesses, Tirado pointed the gun out the window of a car as it traveled south on Belle Terre, scaring others who didn’t know it was a toy gun, and potentially risking getting shot in turn: one of the people following was carrying a weapon, had become aware of Tirado’s behavior and was following her car.
By early Wednesday evening, Tirado was facing a felony charge of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, another felony count for possession of controlled substances, and a night in juvenile jail. Levi Ovenshire, 18, who drove the black Saturn, was arrested on one felony count for his role in the incident, and two misdemeanor counts of drug possession. Under Florida law, it makes no difference of a gun is “real” or not when used in a crime: it carries the same weight as a firearm either way.
The incident unfolded just after 6 p.m. on Belle Terre Parkway.
Richard Giordano, 32, a resident of Palm Coast’s B Section, was driving with his fiancée, Jenny Grill, 34, south on Belle Terre, in the Indian Trails area, when they saw what they thought was a teen pointing an assault rifle at them. Giordano called 911.
“You said he was pointing a gun at somebody?” the 911 operator asked him.
“At us, at us, and people driving by, right at me, it scared the crap out of me,” Giordano told the 911 dispatcher.
“Was it a kid or an adult?”
“A kid,” he says.
“Did you know if it was a real gun?”
“Like a teen-ager. I can’t tell,” he said of the gun.
He followed the car onto Palm Coast Parkway, from a distance, not wanting to get too close, until he saw the car turn into the Publix parking lot.
“Were they yelling at you?” the 911 operator asked.
Audio: The 911 Calls:
“They were driving crazy, hanging out the window, pointing a big assault gun,” Giordano said.
“So it’s an assault gun, you’re saying?”
“That’s what it looked like.”
Seconds after Giordano placed his 911 call, Carol Barilka, a 53-year-old resident of Palm Coast’s B Section was traveling to Walmart with her husband, James Barilka, 56, when she placed her 911 call. They were “There are kids in a car and one of them’s got like a M-16 [garbled] waving it out the friggin’ window and pointing it at people,” she told the 911 operator before giving the black Saturn’s license plate number and describing one of the occupants as “a little punk.”
“So we’re following [them], so they’re freaking out now,” Barilka tells the operator.
“OK, if they have a gun I don’t want you to follow them, they could shoot you,” the 911 operator says.
“Oh no, it’s not a real gun,” the woman says.
“OK, how do you know they don’t have a real gun in the vehicle, ma’am, or what they’re capable of?”
“I don’t know.”
“OK, so then back off, I don’t want you hurt,” the dispatcher tells Barilka.
“I know, ‘cause my husband, well, he’s carrying right now, and –“
“OK, great, so if you come into contact with them and he feels threatened, what if he shoots one of them? I want you to back off, I don’t want anybody to get hurt.”
Barilka assured the 911 dispatcher that she and her husband would stay away as she describes the Saturn turn into the Publix parking lot. But Barilka speaks her displeasure at the occupants of the Saturn, saying she wanted to “smack” one of them.
When deputies confronted Tirado, Ovenshire and another passenger in the Publix parking lot, “Tirado revealed that she knew why we pulled them over,” according to her arrest report. She spoke of the toy gun she’d gotten from Halloween, “she was holding it out of the window, and she knew someone would call the cops.” But she denied pointing it at anyone. She said she was “just playing around and having fun with her friends because she’s moving to California tomorrow.”
Deputies took hold of the plastic “rifle type weapon” from the passenger-side dashboard. “The weapon appeared to once have an orange tip that had been altered by coloring over it with black marker/paint,” the arrest report states. Deputies also found a jar with less than 2 grams of pot and tablets later determined to be “Trazodone Hydrochloride, a prescription medication,” according to the report, and Xanax, a controlled prescription drug. The third person in the car, a 17-year-old girl from Palm Beach, was not arrested.
“DJJ isn’t as bad as other people make it out to be just so ya know,” Tirado wrote on her Facebook page The walls are painted bright green and you get oatmeal for breakfast. How nice.” She then noted: “I’m kidding don’t get arrested kids.”
She’s lucky someone didn’t shoot her.
Another genius imported to Palm Coast. Hurry up and get your trial over and complete your move to California.
Considering that Florida allows people to own weapons and that we have those with concealed carry, it was not the brightest thing to do.
However, I also think it is a bit overboard to charge her, when it was so close to Halloween and she is a kid. Why ruin her life, over cutting up like we ALL have done at some point in our lives? What are we becoming when we destroy our children?
The adults in this community need to get things in perspective. Yes, chastise her, but for the love of all things Holy, why is she charged with a felony? So the Sheriff can have another “trophy” arrest?
Just another example proving the fact that Prosecutors are the penultimate scum on this Earth.
Samuel L. Bronkowitz says
A felony charge of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon? She’s a kid. I guess we’re lucky she wasn’t 12 and black though.
As I recall, Tamir Rice was killed in a similar situation for doing less.
Obama 2015 says
I hope they charge her and then use this instance as another reason why open carry isn’t a good idea and why assault weapons should be banned.
Someone was ready to kill her for being a moron with a toy.
Trazodone (anti-depressant), Xanax (anti-anxiety), and marijuana make for loud
snoring. Are people consuming these substances together for a high?
A “high” that’s a “low” – I think. The new “Gorilla Biscuits?” (nickname for Quaalude)
Why do people love “downers?”
The ignorant young lady won’t ultimately be convicted of a felony. Her lawyer will plea
her down to a lesser charge, taking into account her age and lack of priors.
Maybe “dumb as a bag of hammers” can be used as a defense.
Let’s save Felony Assault for people seriously intent on hurting others.
This young lady seemed to be intent on being shot by a hero wannabe.
How about “Felonious Attempted Suicide?”
Didn’t Noelle Tirado get the memo that half the people on the road have
REAL guns in their cars? I wonder if there’s just an air gap between her ears.
And the driver is just as STUPID – he needs a stack of law books dropped on
his thick skull..
Looks to me like they’ll be needing the anti-depressants for real.
Jim R says
Twenty years ago this would be seen as just a foolish prank, but in our present police state it’s a felony offense. Our land of the free, home of the brave has become land of the fearful, home of the cowardly.
Most Americans would give up their constitutional rights without a whimper and welcome the police state.
if open carry isn’t a good idea why does it work in texas?
If I was driving down the road and saw somebody on the side of the road pointing a gun at people and cars (I know she was in a car) I would’ve hit her with my car. Just like the Police Officer in Arizona I believe it was who ran over the armed man walking on the sidewalk.
Noelle SHOULD be punished in some manner. Why should she get away with scaring people like that, especially drivers in other cars that could’ve easily gotten into an accident with someone and caused injury or death.
She knew she was doing wrong. I don’t think jail time, except maybe for a few days, is the answer. I think she should be forced to do many hours of community service such as cleaning up dog poop in the dog parks every day, maybe cleaning toilets in the county jail–things that are gross chores, that may leave an impression— not just doing volunteer work in a food pantry or something of that nature.
If a meaningful punishment is admininistered to these immature people, then maybe there will be less dangerous situations caused be these types. The fact that she is a kid is no excuse. All kids need to be taught well not to do these things and if they do they will suffer a dire consequence. Kids today get away with too much.
Right, the passer bys should have handled this better and this proves all people everywhere should be told they can’t have guns because if that were the case this would not happen. Oh yeah the prosecutors probably made the cops use that charge, they heard about the call, came out there and told the police what to do. This girl should be fined four pieces of Halloween candy and one gram of marijuana and nothing more. People around here just need to learn how to take a joke. Oh wait, if it had been a black male surely everyone with a gun which of course is everyone around would have shot him to include the police and prosecutors. Does that about sum it up?
Her parents must be so proud.
concerned mother says
if I was driving down a highway at nite and saw someone hanging out of the car window i’d have called 911 as fast as I could…. how can anyone tell if the gun is real or a toy??? why was the asshole girl hanging out the window anyway to scare people or get killed herself by someone who felt threatened by her????? Where are her parents…. there were drugs too, the courts should make an example of her…felony diffenitly, she ruined her own life
Enough is ENOUGH says
However, I also think it is a bit overboard to charge her, when it was so close to Halloween and she is a kid. Why ruin her life, over cutting up like we ALL have done at some point in our lives? What are we becoming when we destroy our children? …………… ARE you kidding me with this?! This is EXACTLY why WE are in the state WE are IN! Would you have felt so bad for the man/woman that might have,and SHOULD have, pulled out a REAL gun and defended themselves?? TEACH THE KIDS IT’S NOT OK TO ACT IN THIS MANNER AND THAT THERE IS ALWAYS CONSEQUENCE!
Why assault rifles should be banned? Let me put my gun on my front porch for a day and at the end of the day I’ll check back and see how many people it shot. It’s bad people in the world not the guns. If they get banned it won’t matter anyways. People can get what they want whether it’s legal or not. Just like the other kid with the pot. Let’s ban that too so no one can get it. See?
This arrest may save this girl’s life. God knows what would have happened to her if she had gotten away with this, moved to California and continued going down this same path.
Sorry, I fail to follow your reasoning. If she pointed a shotgun out the window then should shotguns be banned? What if she was pointing a dildo out the window? Would you be calling for dildos to be banned? I don’t see where anyone was “ready to kill her for being a moron with a ‘toy'” either; all involved called the police. Regardless, she wanted people to believe the gun was real as she colored the orange tip black making it appear real. This girl better wise up or she will be spending her time in prison, or maybe become the latest example of Darwinism at it’s finest.
Ridiculous comment Bronkowitz…fact is she’s 17 years old and should have known better than to be waving what looked to possibly be a real gun out the window of a vehicle…pointing it at someone prompting them to call 911. Had it been pointed at you as they drove by you’d probably think differently.
Samuel L. Bronkowitz says
Hrm yes charging a 17 year old child with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon for being an idiot with a toy gun is a completely rational and fitting charge and not the act of a prosecutor looking for a plea deal and something easy to bump his or her conviction rate up. And seriously, 17 and know better? How many 17 year olds do you know that make completely level-headed decisions all of the time? For that matter, how many adults do you know that do the same?
Hmm… maybe because Bronkowitz made more than one comment? ~FL
HMM how did Anonymous reply to bronkowitz nearly a full day before his comment?
if you pay attention to her facebook you will see she is treating this whole thing as a big joke-even so far as to post pictures of what looks like jail barb wire fence-basically mocking the whole situation…
I hope the judge takes this into consideration when the hearings come up.
This young woman is a train-wreck waiting to happen. I feel bad for her but even worse for any innocent person she happens to roll over as she gathers steam on her runaway track. Good luck, California!
Felony Assault coupled with a deadly weapon means this little girls mistake could send her to prison for up to 15 years. Will that make you Law ‘n Order folks happy to screw her life up like that for one childish mistake? What if it were your Grandchild who was blowing off a little steam, would you still think it was a fair serving of Justice?
felony assault NOPE.
word catcher says
@Bill Looks like “Anonymous” was responding to “Bronkowitz’s” November 6th comment.