Bunnell Man Charged With Aggravated Assault On A Census Worker

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Bunnell, FL - A U.S. Census worker and his wife are uninjured after a Bunnell man discharged what the victims say was an assault rifle.  Flagler County Sheriff's deputies arrested 32-year-old Michael Cooper, charging him with aggravated Assault with a Deadly Weapon W/O Intent to Kill.

The incident happened on Monday of this week around 6 p.m. at Cooper's home on Clove Avenue in Bunnell.  The victim parked his vehicle off the property and walked up the driveway. He was wearing his U.S. Census badge and identified himself as a federal employee to a man, identified as Cooper, sitting on the porch.

As the victim, approached, he said Cooper got irate and screamed at him to get off the property. When the victim tried to explain why he was there, Cooper went into the house and came back out with what's described by the victim as a 'black in color assault-style rifle" and chambered a round. That's when the victim turned to walk away. Once he entered his vehicle, he heard a shot fired in an unknown direction. The victim said he was in fear for his life and drove away quickly. 

The victim's wife, who was in the vehicle during the incident. She told investigators that she saw her husband show his badge then heard Cooper screaming. She said he entered his home and came back out with what she said was a 'black in color assault-style rifle."

When investigators got to Cooper, he told them that the victim was not wearing an I.D. badge and did not identify himself as he approached the home. He stated he went inside, locked the door, and armed himself with the assault rifle. Cooper said that he was carrying it at the low and ready when he went back out on the porch and chambered a round. At that point, Cooper said that the victim left the property.

Cooper's neighbors say they saw and heard Cooper screaming at the victim to get off of his property over the sound of the running lawnmower. The neighbors said they could clearly see the victim's Census badge. They also said they saw the rifle and heard a gunshot but did not know or see specifics surrounding it.

Detectives say that based upon investigation, Cooper had no legitimate reason to fear for his or brandish a deadly weapon towards the victim. Cooper admitted he went into the house and went back out to confront the victim instead of calling Law Enforcement if he believed his life was in danger. 

Cooper's bond was set at $7,500 and he has bonded out.

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