Suspect: Pokemon Go led to Crystal River road rage shooting

Posted at 9:10 AM, Aug 04, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-04 18:36:49-04

A 22-year-old man is accused of opening fire with a pellet gun during a road rage incident in Citrus County.

Jimmy Ritchie, of 968 NE 8th Avenue in Crystal River, is now charged with aggravated assault with intent to commit a felony, criminal mischief and shooting/throwing a deadly missile into a dwelling conveyance.

According to an arrest report, the driver of a black pick up truck called 911 Wednesday morning around 6 a.m. to say the driver of a red Toyota Corolla shot a gun at him and shattered his rear window.

"I  thought does he have a gun because was he holding something out the window that looked like a gun," said Tampa business owner Kyle Savaglio.

Savaglio was able to give deputies the car's tag number and the car was later found at an apartment complex off Northeast 8th Avenue.

According to Savaglio, he was driving on North Holiday Drive and came up on a stop sign at North Turkey Oak Drive.  He says Ritchie was driving in front of him and for some unknown reason, Ritchie began yelling expletives at him. 

"We were playing Pokemon Go at 5:30 in the morning, this guy pulls up behind us at the stop sign, he was obviously in a hurry because we were taking his time," explained Ritchie.

Meeting at the intersection is the only thing the two men agree upon.

Both men then turned left on to Turkey Oak Drive and Savaglio says he then passed Ritchie.  Ritchie claims Savaglio cut him off.

"He made me fear for my life so I wanted to scare him too," Ritchie said.

Deputies say as he passed, Ritchie reached across his female passenger and opened fire with the pellet gun while shouting he wanted to kill the other driver.

The pellets shattered the truck's rear window, an arrest affidavit states.

Deputies say when they questioned Ritchie, he claimed he never opened fire and the other driver actually tried running him off the road.

"That's when I pulled out my fake gun, had no clip, had no handle, had nothing in it and I  fired four shots into the sky, not at his truck, nothing came out of the gun," Ritchie said.

Ritchie's female passenger, who deputies say identified herself as his girlfriend, backed up his version of events.

Deputies say they found the pellet gun at Ritchie's apartment but it did not have a clip in it.

An arrest affidavit states they found no ammunition in Ritchie's house or car.

"Whether it is a pellet gun or not, a firearm is a firearm," Savaglio said.