Saint Petersburg, FL

Florida woman faces battery charge after "shooting" neighbor with toy squirt gun

Kristen Walters
Juan Monino/Getty Images (Canva Pro license.)

Many of us have had issues with a neighbor at some point in our lives. In some cases, they lead to civil confrontations where neighbors are able to work past their differences and negotiate a deal to keep the peace in the neighborhood. Other times, neighborly disputes escalate to destructive behavior that leads to criminal charges.

That's precisely what happened in one quiet Pinellas County neighborhood yesterday. According to reports, Renee Bolduc, a woman living in St. Petersburg, was arrested and charged with battery after "shooting" her neighbor in the face with a squirt gun.

Allegedly, Bolduc's neighbor was walking past her home when Bolduc emerged from her front door with a toy water gun and proceeded to spray it directly into the face of the victim. According to the police, the victim did not enter Bolduc's property. However, Bolduc told police that she "shot" the victim with the water gun because she was angry that the woman was "walking on her street."

In Florida, the offense of battery occurs when a person "actually and intentionally touches or strikes another person against the will of the other" and carries a potential penalty of up to one year in jail or 12 months probation, plus a $1,000 fine.

A recent study showed that at least 36% of people had had issues with their neighbors that have "escalated into full-blown arguments," and 25% admit they've had a "long-running feud" with someone living near them.

Clearly, neighborly disputes are common. However, we all need to be mindful of how we handle ourselves in these arguments. For example, something as "silly" as using a squirt gun on your neighbor might seem innocent enough, but it can result in criminal charges.

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