Daytona Beach, FL – A Daytona Beach man who calls himself an advocate of the homeless was arrested after police say he pepper-sprayed a homeless man during a fight.
According to Daytona Beach police, 63-year-old Michael Pastore parked his van in front of the bathrooms at City Island Library at around 4:22 on Friday, May 11. Surveillance video showed a homeless man, Jeffrey Weintraub, approaching the van, reaching in, and striking Pastore. Interviews with witnesses and the parties involved indicated that Weintraub accused Pastore of stealing another homeless man’s debit card.
Video showed Weintraub walking away and two other homeless men, John Husbands and a man identified as “Bill,” walking towards Pastore’s van. When they were about 25 feet away, Pastore exited his van with a baseball bat to confront Husbands. Pastore appeared to spray Husbands with pepper spray three times before walking away.
Husbands caught up with Pastore, ran into him, and punched and kicked Pastore when he was on the ground. Weintraub joined and the two men punched and kicked Pastore several times. Husbands left to collect his belongings and Weintraub took Pastore’s baseball bat, which was allegedly thrown into the Halifax River afterwards.
Pastore was later booked into the Volusia County Branch Jail on charges of battery and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.
Pastore claimed he was protecting himself from Husbands who appeared to be aggressively advancing towards him. Weintraub said he stepped in to defend Husbands while Husbands said he felt he was in fear of his safety when Pastore approached, but that he never engaged in a physical altercation with Pastore.
Pastore was previously arrested for a pepper-spraying incident in August 2016 and for spray painting buildings and signs at City Island Park on Christmas Day in 2016.
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