ATV theft leads to shooting November 27, 2007 Suspect nabbed; nobody injured By Tony Bridges A Panama City man opened fire with a pistol Saturday morning when the thief hauling away his daughter’s all-terrain vehicle allegedly tried to run him over. No one was injured, and Bay County Sheriff’s Office deputies later arrested 21-yearold Walter Lee Bowden III, who was spotted driving a bullet-pocked truck with the stolen four-wheeler in the back. Bowden was charged with burglary and grand theft. Meanwhile, investigators plan to forward a report on the shooting to the State Attorney’s Office for review, said Capt. Jimmy Stanford. He said potential charges against R.J. Juncker, 54, include shooting into an occupied vehicle and discharging a firearm in public. “We’re kind of borderline in this case,” he said. “It’s a tough call.” This is the second time in six years that Juncker has been involved in a public shooting. He was arrested on a misdemeanor firearms violation in 2001 after shooting a neighbor’s dog, but prosecutors dropped the charges. Juncker, owner of East Bay Pawn Co., was asleep in his home in the 6500 block of East Seventh Street about 4:30 a.m. Saturday when a noise outside woke him. The four-acre property is fenced and gated and has a storage building at the rear. Juncker said he went outside and saw a flashlight near the building. He returned to the house to slip into pants, put on his glasses and grab his pistol, a .380-caliber Walther PPK. When he came back out, a small truck was headed for the gate. He stepped into its path to flag down the driver, Juncker said. “I’m right in his headlights,” he said. “That’s when he gassed the dadgum little truck like he was trying to run me over.” Juncker said he fired two warning shots into the ground, then jumped to the side and began shooting as the truck passed and continued toward the gate. He said he purposely aimed at the body of the truck. “I figured it’d be a lot easier to identify the truck with some bullet holes in it,” he said. Once it was gone, he called for deputies. Stanford said they found the truck, a green Ford Ranger, a little while later in Springfield. Bowden admitted stealing the camouflaged Panther ATV and told deputies “he just wanted a four-wheeler,” Stanford said. There were three bullet holes in the side of the truck and another in the rear. Juncker said one of the bullets hit the ATV, which belonged to his 14-year-old daughter. Stanford said Bowden told deputies he never saw Juncker and did not know anyone had tried to stop him as he left. Juncker insists there was no way for the man to have missed him. “I’m not interested in that at all,” he said. “He saw me standing there.” Florida law allows a person to use deadly force under certain conditions, which include a reasonable fear of imminent death or serious injury. There’s no requirement that the person attempt to retreat first. Stanford said it will be up to the State Attorney’s Office to determine whether Juncker was justified in firing. In the 2001 case, a deputy reported that a dog charged Juncker as he rode his motorcycle past a home on East Sixth Street. He stopped, yelled at the owners to tie up the dog up, then started to ride away. The dog gave chase again, and he shot it, according to the Sheriff’s Office report. Juncker told the deputy the dog made him almost lose control of his motorcycle and frequently chased him. He said that he had talked to the owners several times before the shooting. On Monday, Juncker said it was actually two large dogs that chased him every time he rode by on his Harley-Davidson. After approaching the owner three times, he told the man it was the last conversation they would have about the problem. “The dog came out there to bite me, and I shot him,” he said.