EXCLUSIVE: Family attacked by neighbor for being Muslim asking for help

Janny Rodriguez reports. 4/4/2017

A Jacksonville man was arrested for allegedly threatening to kill a local family with an assault rifle Saturday evening, authorities say.

Robert Anthony Ruetting, 52, was arrested and charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon without the intent to kill, a third degree felony.

Aied Alzaidy, one of the victims in the attack, said he's thankful to be alive to share his story. 

"All of a sudden, I had a gun in my head and a flashlight," said Alzaidy. "He said, 'I hate you, Muslim, get out of my country.'"

Around 9:45 p.m., Ruetting came out of his home on the 11000 block of Monument Landing Boulevard holding what looked like a Maglite flashlight and a pistol, an arrest report from the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office shows.

Alzaidy and his wife were on their front porch watering plants when Reutting came over. Alzaidy's wife went inside, but Reutting reportedly began to threaten Alzaidy. He put the gun up to Alzaidy's head and hit him with the flashlight, saying that if Alzaidy moved, he'd kill him, police said.

"I'm fearful for my family," Alzaidy said,. "My wife and I - we've been taking turns to go to sleep."

He said that since they moved into their Jacksonville home four months ago, they've been having trouble with Reutting, but never thought it'd go so far as to be violent.

After Reutting hit Alzaidy with the flashlight, Alzaidy's wife came outside screaming. Reutting ran back to his house and grabbed an AK-47, police said. 

According to the report, Reutting pointed the gun at Alzaidy's head. "I'm going to kill all your Muslim m----- f------k get out of my country. Don't talk to my wife," he reportedly shouted.

"I don't have another country - I've lived here 27 years," Alzaidy said. "We bought the house and I'm asking anyone to help us." Alzaidy said they can't just pick up and leave - they bought a home.

The family, originally from Iraq, said the U.S. is their home.

"I ran from violence and I'm not coming to violence," Alzaidy said. "I came to raise a family and live a normal life."

Reutting is out on bond.

© 2017 WTLV-TV


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