Fugitive, 31, who was wanted for shooting dead a man in Pittsburgh area in January is arrested while lounging on a Florida beach in violation of social distancing rules
- Mario Matthew Gatti of New Kensington, Pennsylvania, was arrested in Florida
- Gatti, 30, was spotted by police lounging on a Jacksonville beach on Sunday
- Duval County authorities reopened beach but kept in place restrictions
- Beachgoers can exercise, but no loitering due to coronavirus pandmeic
- Gatti is wanted in Pennsylvania for fatal January shooting of Brackenridge man
- Michael Coover Jr, 33, was killed after being shot inside a home in Arnold
- Learn more about how to help people impacted by COVID
A Pennsylvania man wanted in connection with a fatal January shooting in a Pittsburgh suburb was arrested on Sunday while lounging on a Florida beach in violation of social distancing restrictions.
Mario Matthew Gatti, 31, was photographed on Sunday afternoon as he was handcuffed and taken into custody by police in Jacksonville.
‘This morning while officers patrolled the beach proper they captured a Fugitive from Justice, wanted in Arnold, Pennsylvania for Homicide,’ according to a tweet posted by the Jacksonville Beach Police Department.
Jacksonville Beach Police officers are seen above taking Mario Matthew Gatti, 30, into custody on Sunday morning
The police department said Gatti was seen lounging on the beach in violation of social distancing orders
Gatti (left) is wanted for the fatal January 16 shooting of Brackenridge, Pennsylvania, resident Michael Coover Jr (right), 33
Gatti, a resident of New Kensington, Pennsylvania, was spotted lounging by sand dunes in the 500 block of Beach Proper South in Jacksonville at around 8:20am, according to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.
Local police allege that Gatti initially gave officers a fake name and was in possession of drugs.
After his arrest, Jacksonville police ran his name through the computer system and discovered an outstanding warrant for his arrest in Pennsylvania.
Gatti was one of thousands who descended on the beaches of Jacksonville after Duval County lifted restrictions that were put in place due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Beachgoers are allowed onto the beach though only for exercise. Loitering is not permitted.
‘We have some rules in place that it’s open for active exercise: running, jogging, walking a dog,’ police spokeswoman Sergeant Tonya Tator said.
Coover was shot multiple times and killed while inside a home in Arnold, Pennsylvania, on January 16. He was pronounced dead at the scene
The victim, Coover, is seen in the above undated file photo
‘No blankets, beach chairs, sitting or lounging is allowed.
‘[Gatti] was found up closer toward our dunes lounging.’
Gatti is the suspect in the shooting death of 33-year-old Michael Coover Jr or Brackenridge, Pennsylvania.
On January 16, Coover was shot multiple times inside a home and pronounced dead at the scene in nearby Arnold, Pennsylvania, WTAE-TV reported.
Authorities in Pennsylvania seek to charge Gatti with homicide, burglary, reckless endangerment, terroristic threats, and a firearms violation.
Florida authorities charged Gatti with being a fugitive from justice. He was booked into Duval County Jail, according to Tator.
Gatti was also charged with giving false information to law enforcement in a felony or missing person investigation as well as drug possession.