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Owners and employee of Florida store accused of kidnapping, beating men they suspected of stealing

Posted at 11:13 AM, Aug 29, 2018

LAKE PARK, Fla. -- The owners of a bait and tackle store in Florida have been accused of holding two people they suspected of shoplifting at gunpoint

Daniel Friedman, Eric Friedman and Daniel Friedman, the owners of Just Fishing Tackle and Consignment in Lake Park are charged with robbery with a firearm, false imprisonment, and tampering with evidence.

On Aug.16, deputies with the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office says it responded to the Just Fishing in reference to a shoplifting complaint.

When deputies arrived, one person was laying on the ground surrendering to law enforcement, and one of the business owners was holding a shotgun over another person in the rear of the store.

PBSO says the person being held at gunpoint had lacerations and swelling to his face and lacerations to his arms and back.

During their investigation, deputies learned that the Friedmans knew the people they accused of shoplifting.

The employees told the detective that on Aug. 8, the person being held at gunpoint along with an unidentified man came to Just Fishing and stole a fishing reel worth approximately $480. At no time did the Friedmans or other employees notify law enforcement to report the crime.

The detective said that on Aug. 16, Daniel Friedman and his son Eric, called the man about the stolen fishing reel. 

Both he and another man showed up to the store that afternoon. Upon entering the store, PBSO says Eric Friedman confronted the man about the theft. According to the detective, the man and Daniel Friedman began to fight and Daniel Friedman pulled out a shotgun.

PBSO says the two men were held against their will at gunpoint. They later told the detective that they were beaten and forced at gunpoint to hand over their cell phones, $1,180 in cash and their wallets.

According to PBSO, after learning this information, Daniel Friedman and family then became confrontational with deputies regarding the alleged robbery of the men and the family then denied deputies access to the business.

PBSO says the store's surveillance video system was disabled between 2:40 p.m. and 4:36 p.m.

Deputies say they believe the DVR was unplugged during this time.

According to PBSO, at 2:40 p.m. store employee Marc Kellener is observed walking towards the area where the DVR system is located and then the video ceases recording.

The video resumes at 4:35 p.m. with one of the men seen lying on the ground with his hands out to his side in the surrender position and the other man seated in a chair in the rear office portion of the store.

Eric Friedman is seen yelling at the seated man and Daniel Friedman is seen standing next to him holding a chrome-colored shotgun. Naomi Friedman is seen on video placing a large sum of cash into a white envelope, then place the envelope into a larger mailing envelope and places it into a desk drawer.

PBSO says surveillance footage shows Daniel Friedman grabbing one man by the neck and pushing him back down into the chair.

At 4:36 p.m., surveillance video shows Marc Kellener walk into the office and punch one of the men twice in the face.

At 4:40 p.m., Daniel Friedman is seen on video striking one of the men in the head with the butt of the shotgun. Minutes later Eric Friedman is seen spitting in one man's face multiple times.

Daniel Friedman is charged with two counts of robbery with a firearm, two counts of aggravated battery with a deadly weapon and two counts of kidnapping/false imprisonment.

Naomi Friedman and Marc Kellener are both charged with two counts of robbery with a firearm, two counts of kidnapping/false imprisonment, and one count of destroying evidence.