Incident at Palm Bay Publix Results In Two Arrests

By  //  August 27, 2012

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Firearm Displayed In Front Of Witnesses

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BREVARD COUNTY • PALM BAY, FLORIDA – Two men were arrested Sunday following an incident at a grocery store in which a firearm was displayed in front of dozens of witnesses.

Palm Bay Police public information officer Yvonne Martinez said Derek Dimsey, 31, was arrested on charges of disorderly conduct, resisting arrest, reckless display of a firearm and aggravated assault.

She said Kenny Mercado, Sr., 49, faces charges of battery and disorderly conduct.

“Just before 11 a.m. Sunday patrol officers responded to the Publix Supermarket at 3450 Bayside Lakes Blvd. SE after reports of an incident involving a gun inside the store,” Martinez said. “When officers arrived two individuals involved in the incident were immediately detained and the weapon was secured.”

She said that further investigation revealed the two men, unknown to each other at the time, entered the store and an incidental contact between the two parties triggered a loud verbal exchange which escalated to the point where Mercado punched Dimsey.

“Dimsey then responded by pointing a large caliber pistol at Mercado,” Martinez said. “Mercado raised his hands then fled to the next aisle. During this time, Dimsey pointed the weapon at several people during his assault on Mercado.”

Store employees intervened by separating the two individuals and then convinced Dimsey to put the gun away before police arrived and secured the scene.

Kenny Mercado, left and Derek Dimsey.

“Florida Statutes Chapter 776 authorizes anyone the right to defend themselves when presented with unlawful force. However, the response by the defender must be reasonable,” said Palm Bay Police Deputy Chief John Blackledge, who teaches legal use of force in the regional police academy. “The law does not allow for the presentation of deadly force in every situation. It is certainly not justified as the response to a simple punch. The use of deadly force requires a much greater presentation of force than what was presented in this incident.”

The gun was not fired and no one was injured during the incident.

Martinez said additional charges are being considered for both Dimsey and Mercado as police continue to investigate the incident further.

Both individuals were taken into custody and then transported to the Brevard County Detention Center.