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Monroe County Sheriff’s Office deputies feared a domestic violence call was going to turn into a gun battle when a Key Largo man accused of beating his wife refused to come outside and deputies saw him through a window strapping on a bullet-proof vest.
Watson Joseph Leblanc, 49, was arrested on aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, battery and resisting arrest charges. His bond information was not immediately available.
According to Deputy Cody Kerns’ arrest affidavit, Leblanc’s wife called 911 from a neighbor’s house after 10 p.m. reporting she had been punched in the face by her husband and was in fear for her life because he had firearms and suffered from post-traumatic stress. The wife told deputies she had just returned from hanging out with a friend at Bayside Grill in Key Largo when Leblanc followed her into the master bedroom and yelled at her, according to Kerns’ report.
She told police he then said to her, “This is your last night,” before punching her in the back and face.
Kerns and two other deputies met up with the wife and could see her lip was swollen from being hit. They went to the front door of Leblanc’s LeGrand Drive house. When they knocked, Leblanc cracked the door open and stated he was not coming out, according to Kerns. He closed the door and punched it repeatedly yelling, “F–ing come on!” and “Come inside and get it,” Kerns stated in his report.
The deputies could see Leblanc through a window. He walked toward his kitchen counter and grabbed a bullet-proof vest and put it on and yelled, “Come on” before walking to his bedroom. According to Kerns, he had responded to the home before and knew Leblanc kept a handgun in that room.
“Due to my previous encounter with Leblanc, I knew where he kept his firearm,” Kerns wrote. “I drew my sidearm and again gave loud verbal commands to come out of the house.”
Leblanc ultimately took off the vest and came outside without the gun. But, when deputies approached him, he turned around and ran toward the door. Kerns then shot him with his Taser stun gun, and he and the other deputies handcuffed him. They took him to Plantation Key jail.
Leblanc’s wife told deputies that he had threatened her life with his gun six days earlier. On May 4, Leblanc threw a bag of chips at her and ordered her to clean up the mess, she told deputies. He was holding a pistol, she said, and he took her outside to their avocado tree where her cat was buried, telling her “the new homeowners wouldn’t want blood in the house,” before cocking the gun, according to the arrest report.
She told deputies he then asked her if she believed in God. This was around midnight, and she said a passing Sheriff’s Office patrol car spooked Leblanc. He ran inside their house, and she ran to a neighbor’s home, she told deputies. She said she did not report the incident because she feared Leblanc would harm her and responding police.