Suspect Arrested After Swimming into Stump Pass and Throwing Rocks at Deputies

An Englewood man is in custody at the Charlotte County Jail this morning on multiple charges stemming from an arrest Sunday morning. Joshua Kelly Gault (2/4/86), was arrested on multiple aggravated battery charges after deputies made contact with him near Waterside Drive and Maryland Avenue at approximately 8:00am. A caller reported Gault was walking down the road while swinging a metal pipe and yelling about guns. As deputies arrived on scene they gave Gault several orders to stop. Gault fled through Stump Pass Marina and jumped in the water.

Joshua Gault

Joshua Gault began throwing objects from the water at the deputies, who had commandeered a boat at the marina in an attempt to corral him. Gault began swimming South and continued to to throw things at the deputies, including large pieces of cement (one piece of cement/rock later struck a deputy in the head).

Joshua Gault’s father arrived on scene, and entered the shallow water in an attempt to calm down his son. Joshua Gault engaged in a physical fight with his father, attempting to hold him under water. Deputies entered the water at that time but were unable to apprehend Joshua as he swam away. His father was transported away from the scene.

As additional Marine Units arrived on scene, Gault was briefly pursued on foot through a shallow mangrove island before he jumped back into the channel. Marine Units from Englewood Fire, Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office, and the Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office prevented Gault from swimming up to Stump Pass State Park to prevent injuries to people at the park. Joshua Gault surrendered at that location at approximately 11:30am.

Joshua Gault is charged with Aggravated Battery on an Officer/Firefighter, Aggravated Assault on an Officer/Firefighter, Aggravated Battery, and Resisting an Officer With Violence.

Equipment for several of the responding deputies required replacement for damage from the salt water. The deputy who was struck in the head by a rock thrown by Gault suffered minor injuries.

Katie Heck
Public Information Officer
Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office


2 thoughts on “Suspect Arrested After Swimming into Stump Pass and Throwing Rocks at Deputies

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  1. Oh my gosh. Please don’t judge this man. I have known Josh since he was 2, he is a smart & kind man. Instead you should wonder why this country doesn’t help people with mental illnesses, this is so incredibly sad.

  2. This young man is so incredibly he needs help and I pray he gets it. This is not who he is.

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