- Associated Press - Thursday, April 2, 2015

INVERNESS, Fla. (AP) - A Florida state senator has dropped a defamation lawsuit against a former north Florida pizza delivery driver who accused him of pulling a gun on him when he got lost in the lawmaker’s neighborhood.

Sen. Charlie Dean’s attorney said Wednesday that they’d drop the suit against 19-year-old Giovanni Bencini if he apologized, but a notice of dismissal was filed Thursday, and Bencini’s mother told the Citrus County Chronicle her son hadn’t spoken with Dean.

The Inverness Republican filed the suit in February against Bencini and the parent company for Hungry Howie’s Pizza and Subs. Bencini got lost in Dean’s neighborhood while delivering a pizza in November 2013. Dean confronted Bencini while the driver was trying to get directions from a neighbor.

Bencini called 911 and claimed Dean had pointed a gun at him. Dean had been carrying his licensed handgun but claimed Bencini had been the one threatening him.

Prosecutors didn’t pursue charges. Dean was seeking $14,836 to cover legal expenses. State documents show Dean is worth about $7.2 million.

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Information from: Citrus County Chronicle (Crystal River, Fla.), https://www.chronicle-online.com

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