Jacksonville Man Point Guns at Muslim Neighbor & Family, Threatens to Kill Wife

Robert Anthony Ruetting, 52, was arrested after he allegedly pointed a handgun and rifle at his Muslim neighbor and the man’s family while hurling racial epithets at them, according to the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office.

Aied Alzaidy, 47, was gardening outside about 9:30 p.m. Saturday when Ruetting emerged from his home next door looking upset while holding a handgun and flashlight, according to the arrest report. “If you move — — [expletive], I will shoot you,” Ruetting warned him, according to Alzaidy. He said Ruetting put the handgun to his head then struck him with the flashlight as his wife returned.

Ruetting went back inside, then reappeared with an AK-47-style rifle and pointed it at the victim, his wife and their children, ages 9, 7 and 5, according to the report. He yelled at them, saying “I’m going to kill all you Muslim — —[expletive], get out of my country. Don’t talk to my wife,” the report said.

By the time officers arrived, Ruetting had gone back home. Police said the couple consented to a search of their home. They found a rifle in an open bag next to Ruetting’s bed and it was seized as evidence.

Ruetting was charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, then released on $50,000 bond Monday, according to Duval County jail records. The Florida chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations on Tuesday called on authorities to charge Ruetting with a hate crime. New State Attorney Melissa Nelson recently created a new division intended to focus on police abuse, elder abuse, hate crimes, and human trafficking. Ruetting is due back in court April 25 for an arraignment.

Ruetting’s wife, Nancy Urfalino told a different account of the incident. She blamed Alzaidy for the confrontation, saying he has been coming on to her for awhile and her husband finally had enough. “My husband did not lay a hand on him. Zilch,” Urfalino said Tuesday. Urfalino said her husband was working on their sprinklers late Saturday when the topic came up. Ruetting then came back inside saying he had been threatened and that “Eddie just pulled out a weapon.” Urfalino said she only overheard what happened next.

That account is not how Alzaidy remembers that night. He says he and his wife had just finished sipping coffee outside when she went inside to fetch him some water so he could tend to their new sod. That’s when Ruetting came out and a confrontation ensued.

“He came with the AK-47 and he said, ‘Get out of my country, Muslim. I hate Muslims,’” he said.

Alzaidy didn’t know what provoked the violence and said he’s never flirted with Urfalino, citing his marriage and belief system. He chalked up her statement to her constant state of intoxication.

“She’s drunk 24/7 and she uses language I don’t want my kids to hear,” he said. “She uses language like that every single day — ‘Get out of our country, Muslim.’”

Alzaidy says the incident is the latest hostility his family has endured from Ruetting and Urfalino since moving from Michigan. “The problem is they hate Muslims and they hate kids,” he said. Alzaidy said his family has been living in fear of their next door neighbor ever since the incident. He said his children have been sleeping in the room with him and his wife, while he and his wife have been taking turns going to sleep so one of them can stay awake to make sure nothing else happens.

“I have to find a doctor to talk to my oldest one,” Alzaidy said. “When she saw the AK-47 pointed at her dad, she told her mom, ‘I’m afraid he’s going to kill my dad.’”

Both Ruetting and Urfalino have domestic violence arrests against each other in 2016, court records show. Alzaidy has a 1998 arrest on a charge of domestic aggravated battery with a firearm or destructive device.




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