The day after a Florida CBS affiliate WJAX-TV reported Jacksonville Beach police were patrolling the beach to make sure people were practicing social distancing and other rules for beach activity when they came across Mario Matthew Gatti loitering near the dunes.for physical activity, police arrested a Pennsylvania homicide suspect loitering near the dunes on Sunday.
Officers learned there was a warrant charging Gatti with criminal homicide in Arnold, Pennsylvania, said Sgt. Tonya Tator. The department posted a photo of the arrest on its Twitter account, with the comment, “This morning while officers patrolled the beach proper they captured a Fugitive from Justice, wanted in Arnold, Pennsylvania for Homicide. Good job!”
A warrant was issued for Gatti’s arrest after the fatal shooting of 33-year-old Michael Coover, Jr. in January. CBS affiliate WJAX-TV reported the shooting happened at an apartment complex in Arnold, Pennsylvania, which is more than 800 miles away from Jacksonville Beach.
Gatti, wearing a pair of American flag surfer shorts, was arrested without incident. He was being held in a Duval County jail. Jail records didn’t list a lawyer for him.
The beach was reopened for active recreation only, like walking, running, swimming or surfing, despite the state hitting a record number of coronavirus cases. Sunbathing, sitting in chairs or on towels and other passive activities aren’t allowed.
Family members of the shooting victim told WJAX that Coover was a great father to his kids and he will be missed. Shirley Clegg, the victim’s sister, said her family is finally getting some closure nearly four months after her brother was killed.