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Updated: 06/16/2017 08:30:00AM

Former Punta Gorda Police officer Coel wants disability benefits

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Punta Gorda Police officer Lee Coel pets Clarence, the dog he rescued last week when he somehow got wedged between the seawall and dock piling at a home on the 3400 block of Nighhawk Court in Punta Gorda.


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The former Punta Gorda Police Officer responsible for fatally shooting retired citizen Mary Knowlton has applied for disability benefits.

Lee Coel, 28, believed his gun was loaded with blanks when he fired live rounds during a “shoot/don’t shoot” public demonstration. His application lists the incident of Knowlton’s “accidental death” as the event that gave rise to an accident, illness, or injury, rendering him incapable of further service as a police officer.

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