$30 loan ends in aggravated assault charge

OKEECHOBEE — Brent Pignataro, 41, was arrested and charged with burglary with a battery, aggravated assault without intent to kill and battery after the friend he loaned $30 to did not pay him back.

Brent Pinataro

On Tuesday, July 21 at approximately 5:15 p.m., Okeechobee County Sheriff’s Deputy Matthew Huffman responded to a residence on East Center Street in reference to a burglary complaint. When he arrived, the complainant told him he had been sitting in his bedroom earlier, eating a hotdog and drinking an alcoholic beverage when Pignataro entered the room unannounced and uninvited, demanding he repay the $30 Pignatarto loaned him a week earlier. When he told Pignataro he did not have the full $30 but could give him $10, Pignataro reportedly became enraged and lunged toward him wrapping his hands around the complainant’s neck. This caused the complainant to fall backwards and hit his head on a nearby wall. He resisted the attack and attempted to get away as Pignataro reportedly clawed at his back. When the complainant turned around to face Pignataro, he allegedly saw a knife in his hand.

In fear for his life, he began looking for something to defend himself with. Pignataro retreated and got into a white Ford F-250 driven by a female. The vehicle backed out of the driveway striking a number of small trees and drove north towards State Road 70 East.

Pignataro was located and arrested soon after. His bond was set at $26,000.

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