Mistaken identity? Deputy wounds man initially believed a prowler

By Chuck Weber email

LAKE WORTH, FL (WFLX)-Was an innocent man shot by a Sheriff's deputy? The incident took place early Tuesday morning in the Vineyards development west of Lake Worth. A caller to 911 reported a man prowling in his backyard.

In the recording of the 911 call, the caller is heard telling the dispatcher, "He's trying to break in my house." The caller also describes the prowler as a "heavyset guy" wearing a white tee-shirt.

The Sheriff's Office says when deputies arrived in the neighborhood, they saw a man "pop up" inside a car parked in a driveway. The man, says the Sheriff's Office, turned toward deputies with what was perceived to be a weapon. In fear for his life, a deputy fired hitting the man in the arm.

Initially the man who called 911, watching from the window of his home, told the dispatcher, "Yeah, that's him. Yeah, yeah. There's the same tee-shirt."

But later the identification fell apart and deputies released the man, who's identified as 22-year old Alens Charles. He lives at the home where deputies found him in the driveway. His arm bandaged, an angry Charles exclaimed, "No warning! I'm sleeping in my car. I woke up shot! They put the handcuffs on me. Treated me like dirt. We're going to court. That's all I have to say."

The Sheriff's Office is still investigating the shooting and what led up to it. Once completed the investigation will be turned over to the State Attorney's Office, as is customary.