‘We won’t tolerate this kind of behavior,’ sheriff says of man seen throwing coffee at and punching older man


PALM COAST, FL – Maybe he already had too much caffeine in his system. Or maybe buying a tank of gas meant he couldn’t pay for his anger-management class.

But whatever prompted 39-year-old Sean Ruel to allegedly attack a 76-year-old man in line at a gas station, his appalling behavior has already been immortalized on numerous Florida Man websites.

The incident, caught on security cameras at a Shell gas station in Palm Coast, Florida, captures a seemingly placid scene as a gray-haired gentleman buys Lotto tickets and two people wait in line behind him. There is one clerk at the checkout and the transaction apparently was going too slowly for Ruel, who was next in line with a cup of coffee in hand.

Nothing appears to have been said between the assailant and the victim in the seconds that elapsed but Ruel’s body language telegraphed his imminent assault. He shifts his weight from left to right and back, while his right hand flexes. He has made his decision and he switches the coffee cup from his left hand to his right, steps forward, tosses the full cup at the Lotto purchaser’s feet and leaves the store.

The older man interrupts his purchase to speak with the other person in line, a woman, perhaps asking for her take on what had just happened. He walks out of the store and appears to call the younger man over. Ruel strides up to him with his right arm winding up for a punch. When he is close enough, he unloads on the older man, knocking him backward onto the concrete and almost into the arms of an older man who had just walked up and was caught by surprise at the assault.

Just before the footage cuts out, the woman with whom the gentleman had spoken rushes out of the store and appears to be trying to engage the assailant as she moves out of camera range. The other older man shouts toward Ruel as the footage ends.

The Flagler County Sheriff’s Office, which had identified the suspect as Ruel, arrested him the next day and charged him with battery of a senior over 65. The sheriff’s office released the video of the attack (below) but it is age-restricted because the images might be upsetting to some viewers.

Sheriff Rick Staly told local media:

“Because this guy couldn’t control his anger, he battered a senior citizen and is lucky he did not seriously injure him.”

He added:

“Our deputies did a great job to identify, locate and arrest Ruel for what he did to this senior in our community.”

The incident took place May 22, and the FCSO released the footage May 27. Staly said, simply:

“We won’t tolerate this kind of behavior.”

Unsurprisingly, Ruel has prior arrests, including three instances of driving under the influence in California, the sheriff said.


Florida man arrested for pretending to be an undercover DEA agent so he could score some discounted burgers

April 22, 2022

BUNNELL, FL – Thanks to the Florida Man meme, we were hesitant to use those words in the headline. But with truth often being stranger than fiction and in keeping with the absurdity of the meme, here goes.

This past Monday, police in Bunnell were dispatched to a Wendy’s on Commerce Parkway after receiving a call that a customer was arguing with the fast-food chain staff.

When they arrived, they encountered 57-year-old Jesse David Stover. By the time it all settled down, Stover had been arrested for falsely impersonating an officer.

Stover reportedly had a friend who worked at the location that had been giving him discounts on his meals. But after that friend left that job, he started requesting a law enforcement discount. It was claim he allegedly made at that store on previous occasions.

This time, staffers asked to see some form of identification to substantiate that he was in fact law enforcement.

“He quickly flashed a gold-colored badge to the Wendy’s staff and then demanded the discount again,” police said.

The manager denied his request for a cheaper meal, causing an argument. According to a media release by the Bunnell Police Department, it was then that employees say Stover admitted that he was not a police officer, but instead, an undercover DEA agent.

During a post Miranda search of Stover, the badge he had produced was discovered. It turned out to be a concealed weapon permit badge, which can resemble a badge worn by a police officer.

According to Flagler Live, investigators said that Stover denied ever “claiming to be a DEA agent.” He did admit that he showed the employees the badge he had on him, but only because they asked him to see it.

The store manager asked to take a closer look at the badge, but Stover refused.

According to records filed in Flagler County court, Stover told arresting officers that he was a police officer “a long time ago, but he was fired because he was an alcoholic.”

He posted $2,500 bond with a notice to appear for his arraignment on May 9th. Impersonating an officer is a third-degree felony.

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