April 15, 2014

Police: Shooting suspect was angry over car problems

Rachel Brown
rachelbrown@daltoncitizen.com

— Omar Dedios was prepared to deal with a customer’s complaint. He just didn’t think the customer’s father would point a gun at his head to get his way.

“He said, ‘I don’t care. You make it right or I’ll blow your head off,’” said Dedios, the owner of A1 Towing in Dalton and an adjacent used car business.

Dedios said the man who aimed the .38 special revolver at his skull said moments earlier he had only a couple of months left to live anyhow. That man, Modesto Cardenas, 64, 2011 E. Wealth, Chattanooga, was charged Monday by the Dalton Police Department with aggravated assault with a gun. He is in the Whitfield County jail without bond.

Dedios said Cardenas came into his office at 1502 E. Morris St. Monday morning along with his son, who had bought a 2007 Chrysler Pacifica from him on Saturday. Dedios said the buyer told him the car’s check engine light had just come on and he wanted the company to pay to fix the problem.

Dedios said the car was not under warranty, but he offered to provide the labor for free if the buyer bought the part. That’s when Cardenas began making threats and eventually pulled the gun and put it to Dedios’ head, Dedios said.

Dedios said he wrestled the gun away, but it went off in the struggle, firing one shot through his office window and toward Morris Street. Police said no one was injured. When they arrived, Cardenas was still there.

According to an incident report, Cardenas told police Dedios pulled the gun when they got into an argument over the car. Witnesses told police Cardenas was the instigator, according to the report.

Dedios said he had never met Cardenas or his son until a few days ago. A1 has been in business for three years.