Two men arrested over cell phone deal gone wrong

Joseph Albert Giancontieri has been arrested for aggravated assault with with a deadly weapon. Photo courtesy of Port St. Lucie Police Department.

A man from Port St. Lucie is accused of shooting at a teenager in a dispute over a cell phone purchase.

According to Port St. Lucie Police, Joseph Albert Giancontieri fired a warning shot at a 17 year old during a phone purchase on July 16

Investigators say it all began when Giancontieri bought a cellular phone from the teen for $300, but was unable to connect the phone with a cellular service provider. He then asked the 17 year old to meet him at a McDonalds to return the phone. During the transaction, Giancontieri returned the phone for cash. Giancontieri returned the money and told the teen it was counterfeit. The 17 year old said he would go inside the Mcdonalds to exchange the money but fled the scene on foot instead.

According to police, Giancontieri chased the 17 year old to a nearby wooded location behind a Walmart, pulled out a gun, and fired a "warning shot" at the 17 year old. Giancontieri continued to chase the 17 year old after he fired, but lost sight of him.

Later Giancontieri told police the reason why he pulled his gun out, and fired the shot was due to the teen pulling a knife on him.

Police found the 17 year old inside the Walmart where he denied having a knife. The teen said he lost the phone and the money during the chase as well.

According to police, they did not find a knife on the 17 year old, and never found the phone or money.

Police could not find the shell casing from Giancontieri's gun in the location where he said he fired it.

Giancontieri is facing a charge of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. He is being held at the St. Lucie County Jail.

The 17 year old is facing a charge of grand theft of a phone. Authorities took him to the Juvenile Detention Center.

Port St. Lucie police are urging citizens to use the Meet-Up spot on the east side of the Police Department parking lare to complete online transactions, for their safety.

Citizen transactions can be done outside in the parking area or inside the police station that is staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

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