Axel Valentin-Cruz, Gainesville, Florida man arrested pepper spraying neighbors, including 2 year old child. Incident comes week after accusations of man similarly attacking other residents in the building.
A special kind of crazy. A Florida man has been accused of pepper-spraying a mother and father and their two year old child after becoming enraged at the family as they made their way to their apartment earlier this week.
Axel Valentin-Cruz, 26, according to a Gainesville police arrest report stated the man getting into an altercation with the parents and pepper-spraying them, along with a 2-year-old boy as they made their way upstairs to their apartment, Monday evening.
According to the Alachua Chronicle, the victims were a family who lived in the same apartment building. They told a responding officer they were walking up the stairs to their apartment, laughing and talking, when Valentin-Cruz asked them what they said to his sister.
@aantvc #witeraly ♬ original sound – Axel Antonio Valentin-Cruz
Suspect had been pepper spraying other residents the week before
The family said they tried to explain they weren’t talking about his sister, only for Valentin-Cruz to become angry and pull out the pepper-spray, targeting all three of them, including the 2-year-old toddler. One of the victims pointed out the child she was holding, only for Valentin-Cruz to reportedly say he didn’t care, while continuing to spray.
But there was more to come.
According to the family, Valentin-Cruz then went into his apartment and returned with a Taser, and running at them with it. The family were able to get inside their apartment without further injury.
A 911 call said that a man had pepper-sprayed a toddler and was chasing residents with the taser.
The responding officer noted that police had been to the same location days earlier following reports that Valentin-Cruz had been chasing and threatening (other) residents with his taser. The officer also said he could still smell pepper spray in the air and that the liquid had stained a shirt one of the victims was wearing.
Valentin-Cruz denied spraying anyone and said he was being chased and was in fear for his life. He also reportedly told officers he has bipolar disorder but doesn’t take medicaiton.
The Chronicle also said that Valentin-Cruz was arrested last August when he allegedly punched a woman in the face at a laundry. His attorney requested a reduction in his bond because he said people were putting poison in his jail food, that corrections officers had killed his sister, and that they planned to kill him. The judge signed a Baker Act order for a mental health evaluation, only for all charges to be dropped a month later.
Valentin-Cruz was charged with three counts of battery, two counts of making threats to do violence, and one count of child abuse without great bodily harm.