Oakland County golf course employee charged with shooting at golfers over empty beer cans

Robert Fleece charged with felonious assault, reckless discharge of firearm

Robert Fleece is accused of firing shots during an argument with golfers over empty beer cans. (WDIV)

OAKLAND COUNTY, Mich. - An employee at an Oakland County golf course was charged Tuesday for firing shots at golfers who wanted to take their empty beer cans home with them.

Robert Alex Fleece, 45, is charged with felonious assault and reckless discharge of a firearm.

Couple tells their side of story

A husband and wife said they fought to get the gun away from an employee who was firing shots during an argument with golfers because of empty beer cans.

They said they didn't break any rules, like bringing their own beer, but one family wanted to take the empty cans home. They said that's what set Fleece off, as he claimed it was against the rules.

Robert Fleece (WDIV)

"It's the last thing I expected to happen on a golf course," Carl Golding said.

It was the Golding family outing Saturday at Heather Highlands Golf Course, where they have many good memories.

The group of about 36 golfers had breakfast and lunch, and they said they bought beer at the golf course. Everything was fine until the round ended.

"At the end of the day, I'm cleaning out my cart, and here comes an outraged man and outraged owner, and they said I was stealing their property," Stephanie Golding said.

Argument sparks struggle over gun

The property was empty cans. As the argument escalated, Carl Golding went over and noticed Fleece had a gun in his waistband.

"If you've got a gun, you'd better pull it," Carl Golding said. "Call the bluff. Well that was a mistake because he did and fired off a shot."

At that point, the couple said they had the same instinct.

"I'm thinking, 'If anybody is going to get shot, it's going to be me,'" Carl Golding said. "It's not going to be my wife. It's not going to be my kids."

"I'm thinking, 'Shoot me first,'" Stephanie Golding said. "Save my husband. Save my family. My daughter is behind me. My husband is behind me."

That's when the struggle for the gun began.

"I physically was standing right there watching him pull the trigger and try to shoot my husband in the gut," Stephanie Golding said.

"I believe it jammed up on him," Carl Golding said.

Looking back, the Goldings said it's hard to believe nobody was killed.

"I kept thinking that over and over," Stephanie Golding said. "He almost lost his life over a 10-cent can."

Fleece was taken down by other family members and the gun was wrestled away. Police took him to the hospital before transporting him to the Oakland County Jail.

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