PORT ST. LUCIE — Parents and children attending an open house at Grace Christian Academy got more excitement than they bargained for when a wacko parent decided it was the perfect setting for him to wave around a loaded firearm and make death threats.
The gun enthusiast, 61-year-old George Meyer, began the Sunday evening event by picking a fight with Christopher LaSala, his child’s martial arts and physical education teacher, reportedly telling him that martial arts “are crap” and stating that he would kill him. It’s unclear whether Meyer intended the latter statement to reflect the outcome of a hypothetical fight between the men or if it was merely an out-and-out death threat.
It’s worth noting that this is far crazier behavior than would generally be expected at any civilized gathering, let alone an open house for children, which makes it that much more remarkable the extent to which Meyer went on to up the “crazy” ante.
Not content to leave well enough alone, Meyer hovered around LaSala and—upon overhearing a comment from the instructor that a gun is not necessarily the best self-defense choice—promptly drew his own loaded .32 caliber Baretta handgun and pointed it at LaSala.
“Bang, you’re dead,” Meyer offered up wittily. “No way you could have got me before I pulled it out.”
The unhinged action was a response to LaSala’s claim that reliance on a gun for defense leaves one vulnerable to being rendered defenseless if disarmed.
Witnesses backed up all of the above, so police, of course, were dispatched to deal with Meyer. They caught up with him at his home where he attempted (unsuccessfully) to hide the offending handgun.
Meyer explained that pulling the gun was just a “demonstration” and contended that no children were nearby at the time, in direct contradiction of witness statements.
As it happened, Meyer actually did have a concealed weapon permit … that expired in June. He was charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, exhibiting a firearm on school property, improper exhibition of a firearm and—of course—carrying a concealed weapon without a permit.
Meyer was held at St. Lucie County Jail before being released on bond Monday morning. As any sensible person would do, he immediately returned to the school for no apparent reason, causing a panic and the putting the school on lockdown.
“I’m not quite sure what his intentions were,” LaSala said, “but it’s a pretty uneasy feeling knowing that he was in the parking lot again after what he did yesterday.”
Police were called once again, but Meyer left the school before having the chance to get arrested for a second time in 24 hours. He was subsequently informed by police that he would be arrested for trespassing if he visited the school again.
With any luck, these shenanigans will flag Meyer in a background check before he has a chance to further pad his arsenal.