Courtesy of the San Mateo County Sheriff's OfficeDaniel Floyd Vezina

Texas man pleads not guilty to attempted murder, firearms charges in San Mateo County

A Texas man accused of attempted murder and numerous other firearm-related felonies for a wild incident in Half Moon Bay earlier this month has pleaded not guilty to the charges Monday, San Mateo County District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said.

Daniel Floyd Vezina, 57, of Beaumont, Texas, faces two counts of attempted murder with the special enhancement of discharging a firearm, four counts of assault with a firearm, negligent discharge of a fire arm and additional special enhancements for an incident that occurred May 2, where Vezina is accused of terrorizing two teenagers driving on Highway 1 and then shooting at them in a turn-out lot after they pulled over, Wagstaffe said.

The trouble began about 6:52 p.m. when the two teens, age 16 and 19, were driving on Highway 1 south of Tunitas Creek Road on their way to Butano State Park when they see Vezina, driving a BMW, behind them weaving in and out of the lane as if to pass them, Wagstaffe said.

The teens tried to wave the BMW around to pass them, but the driver pulled up next to them and gave them the “hang loose” gesture, Wagstaffe said.

The teens decided to ignore the BMW and continued driving until they noticed a sleeping bag was loose in the bed of their truck. They pulled over into a parking area to secure the bag and they noticed that Vezina and the BMW were parked about 30 to 50 feet away.

Vezina is alleged to have then fired a single shot from a rifle he was holding at them, but neither the teens or their vehicle was struck. Two other people were also in the lot, a man and a woman, and the man yelled to Vezina, “What are you crazy?” and Vezina reportedly replied, “What am I crazy?” Vezina also reportedly pointed his gun at them and cursed at them before throwing the rifle in the truck and fleeing the scene, only to return moments later, pulling up to the couple to ask them “Is there a problem?” He then sped off.

Vezina was found by sheriff's deputies near Highway 1 and Stage Road, Wagstaffe said. He was reportedly drunk and deputies found in his car a loaded Ruger Mini-14 rifle with a 20 round, extended clip, a rifle scope, binoculars, 1,200 rounds of ammo for the rifle and five boxes of .40 caliber ammunition, plus computer equipment, and a .40 caliber semi-automatic pistol, Wagstaffe said.

He was appointed an attorney and pleaded not guilty to all the charges Monday. He is being held on no-bail status and is scheduled to return to court May 26.

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