[PHOTO CREDIT: Lake County Sheriff’s Office]
[Original Publish Date: 05/20/20]
ASTOR, Florida — An Astor man is facing several charges after a couple accused him of pointing a gun at them and chasing them down a popular roadway Saturday morning.
The couple told a deputy Santiago Ashtin Strickland, known as “Paco,” to the victims, pursued them down State Road 40 from Volusia County into Lake County near State Road 19. The victims said Santiago pointed a small handgun at them between State Road 19 and River Road in Astor.
A deputy spotted Santiago driving an SUV without a tag, performed a felony traffic stop and detained Santiago for his investigation. The deputy asked Santiago if he had any weapons and he said, no, but the deputy found a .380 Ruger handgun lying in the front seat in plain view. The deputy also found a pellet rifle and numerous knives, according to the arrest affidavit. Santiago told the deputy he did not do anything wrong and only followed the victims, and said his “friend” must have left the gun but could not provide a name.
The deputy also found two smoking devices and methamphetamine; when the deputy informed Santiago of his find, Santiago reportedly asked, “Doesn’t it have to be a certain amount to be a felony?” Possessing any amount of methamphetamine is a felony in Florida.
Santiago is facing three more felonies in addition to possessing the methamphetamine — two counts of aggravated assault with a firearm and carrying a concealed firearm. He is also facing a misdemeanor charge of possessing drug paraphernalia. He is being held Lake County Jail on $21,000 bond.
Our Editor-in-Chief, Marilyn M. Aciego, began writing for Lake Legal News in 2010. Born and raised in Lake County, she is a graduate of Umatilla High School and Lake-Sumter State College. She started her journalism career at LSSC, where she was editor of both student publications, The Angler and The Odyssey. Her professional career began at the Daily Commercial in 2004 where she covered cops and courts the majority of her time there until she left in 2009. Currently, along with being Editor-in-Chief of Lake Legal News, she is the Florida bureau chief for an international media organization. She has made more than two dozen appearances on live national television, including Nancy Grace and the Greta Van Susteren show, along with her appearance on Evil Twins. Contact her with breaking news, tips, and feedback by sending an e-mail to 352Tips@gmail.com. You can also contact us on our Facebook page — and make sure you “Like” and “Follow us” there. [PHOTO CREDIT: Bonnie Whicher]