breaking news


Deputy seen in video moments before shooting ex-girlfriend, self

Published: Saturday, December 02, 2017 @ 11:30 PM

Surveillance Video Shows Moments Before Deputy Shoots Girlfriend, Self

A woman shot Oct. 12 by a Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office detective who then fatally shot himself, told investigators that he told her, “You treat me worse than a dog,” moments before firing his gun, according to documents released Friday.

>> Read more trending news

Surveillance video made public by Boynton Beach police show the moment of rage and terror that ended with Yuly Solano critically injured, and Michael DeMarco dead on the asphalt of the Inlet Harbor Club condominium complex.

On the video, DeMarco, dressed in his sheriff’s uniform and driving his unmarked sheriff’s car, approaches Solano as she walks her dog, Coco, at the Federal Highway complex. Then he pulls out his service weapon and shoots her once in the arm and twice in the chest before slumping and placing the handgun to his head.

In a Nov. 8 hospital-bed conversation with detectives -- apparently the first time they could talk to the severely injured woman -- Solano also said she’d ended their relationship a few weeks before the shooting “because he was being racist and very possessive of her.”

Solano also told detectives she had planned to file formal complaints about DeMarco with the condo board and property managers, but had not gotten around to it before the shooting, according to the documents.

The interview is part of a 65-item package of materials released Friday. Boynton Beach police released 160 pages of documents Nov. 6, and said the remainder were withheld at the time because police hadn’t yet been able to interview Solano and so could not close the case.

The package released Friday includes two surveillance videos provided by Inlet Harbor managers and taken from different angles.

A video that runs 1 minute 10 seconds shows Solano and her dog walking through the parking lot of the complex north of Gateway Boulevard just after 8 a.m.

DeMarco then pulls up and steps out of his car. As Solano walks away from him, he follows. The pair move out of view then Solano comes back into the frame, retreating from Marco with her hand to her face. DeMarco’s gun comes into frame before he does.

The video then jumps to Solano and DeMarco on the ground. Solano’s dog jumps on DeMarco’s body and the video ends. Boynton Beach police said the skip in the video is how they received it and say they did not edit it.

The other video, 22 seconds long, shows DeMarco approaching with his gun out.

A spokeswoman for Solano’s lawyer, Gary Iscoe, who sued Inlet Harbor and its property manager on Nov. 16, did not want to comment Friday on the videos or the documents.

Just one or two minutes before he shot Solano, a calm and unhurried DeMarco spent 10 minutes on the phone with a colleague, according to other documents within the new reports. DeMarco had asked deputy Claudia Palenzuela to back him up on an eviction he was handling at 9:30 a.m. on Military Trail, Palenzuela told Boynton Beach police.

Solano told investigators Nov. 8 that as DeMarco confronted her, she called out to a maintenance man, Robert Rozzero, who moments earlier had talked with DeMarco about the New York Yankees baseball playoff game the previous night. He said DeMarco fired the first shot into her chest, and she did not know if he’d shot her again because the first shot had deafened her.

Rozzero, 48, said he saw DeMarco drive up to Solano and get out and grab her arm. She saw her pull away and saw DeMarco fire his gun. Rozzero and the Inlet Harbor manager, who had not seen the shooting, called 911.

Officers arrived to find DeMarco on his back, dressed in khaki pants, black boots and a black sheriff’s polo shirt, embroidered with “D/S. M. DeMarco.” “D/S” is “deputy sheriff.” 

His black department-issued Glock .40-caliber handgun was near his body. DeMarco had shot himself in the chest and right temple. Firefighters declared him dead at the scene and officers covered his body with a blanket.

Solano was about 4 feet away. She was “screaming in pain and fear,” a report said.

She told officers she was having trouble breathing, but also told them to go to her apartment and check on her “baby,” her 18-year-old daughter, Aryana Baluja.

Baluja later told an officer her mother had left to walk Coco, and she heard four gunshots. She said as she looked out her window, she saw the dog and saw DeMarco’s car with the driver’s side door open, “and knew that something was wrong.”

Solano was taken to Delray Medical Center. Detectives came there at about 9:30 a.m. and learned Solano was being rushed into surgery. About 90 minutes later, doctors told the detectives she’d been shot three times -- once in the forearm and twice in the chest. She was in critical but stable condition and was unable to talk to investigators.

Later, at her bedside, she nodded and scribbled notes to Baluja, who sat holding her hand. But Solano was groggy from medication and slipped in and out of consciousness.

Baluja told detectives she and her mother lived in a different part of Inlet Harbor from DeMarco and met him there in May 2017. He invited them to dinner, and he and her mother later began a relationship.

For the first two months, she said, DeMarco was “a nice guy” who helped teach her to drive and inspired her to pursue a career, even giving her a desk to help with her college studies. Then, she said, DeMarco and her mother began to argue over “jealousy issues.” When Solano would talk in Spanish to her parents in Peru, DeMarco would grow angry and ask what she was saying.

Baluja so far has declined, both directly and through her lawyers, several interview requests by The Post. She did tell the online news outlet Dailymail.com, in a story posted Tuesday, that three of her mother’s ribs were broken and parts of her lung had to be removed. She said her mother’s arm and vocal cords are also paralyzed, and it was hard for her to talk. But, she said her mother is now walking.

“She’s fighting,” Baluja told the website. “She’s continuing to stay positive.”

Baluja also said she’d set up a GoFundMe account to help offset medical costs for her mother while she continues her college classes.

Solano’s lawyers have threatened to sue the Sheriff’s Office as well, saying it failed either to care for or supervise DeMarco, who they say was “clearly battling mental duress and emotional troubles,” in a proper manner. DeMarco spent more than two decades with the Sheriff’s Office and had consistently high marks on evaluations. To date, the Sheriff’s Office has not commented.

In the reports, sheriff’s Lt. Chuck Morris told Boynton Beach police DeMarco had told him a week before the shooting that he was going through a breakup with Solano and mentioned their legal fight over bedroom furniture. He’d filed a small-claims suit Sept. 27.

DeMarco told Morris that Solano had believed the items were a gift, but he considered them joint property because he had planned to marry Solano. Morris said DeMarco told him he’d gone through the courts “so as not to be accused of stalking or harassing phone calls.”

Solano told a different story. She said DeMarco had been so obsessed with their relationship. He had demanded she go with him to look at paint colors for their apartment. She said that after the breakup, DeMarco had told her he wanted the furniture back because he did not want her “to have another man sleep on the mattress that he had purchased for them.” And she said she believed DeMarco had scratched her name from the mailbox in the lobby of the community clubhouse

In the report, Rozzero told police Solano had told him DeMarco “had been harassing her by constantly calling her cellphone and sending e-mails in the early morning hours. The phone calls were to a point that she had to block his phone.”

He said after the pair broke up, Solano asked him not to give DeMarco a key to her apartment if he asked. She told Rozzero she might have to get a restraining order.

Homeowners association officer Riley Cooney told police Solano had told him DeMarco “was crazy.” Cooney said he never saw the two argue in public.

A report said a detective checked Solano’s phone and found “it appears that text messages from DeMarco had been erased,” except for a few screen shots of a conversation. The phone did show a text message from DeMarco’s brother, Frank Dunkow, asking “what went wrong” between the two. Dunkow, 52, was arrested on federal fraud charges Oct. 12, the same day as the shooting.

Lawyers for Solano have said she complained of harassment by DeMarco to both the condo association and the management office. Both city police and the Sheriff’s Office have said they have no record of Solano making a formal complaint. And the police reports released Friday also said that “no official correspondence or reports or harassment were reported to Inlet Harbor.”

Solano told police she had planned to report the incidents formally but “did not have a chance.”

Trending - Most Read Stories

Television personality and commentator Charles Krauthammer has died at 68

Published: Thursday, June 21, 2018 @ 7:11 PM
Updated: Thursday, June 21, 2018 @ 7:11 PM

WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 16: Charles Krauthammer, columnist for The Washington Post via Getty Images on March 16, 1985 in Washington, DC.

(Photo by Ray Lustig/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
The Washington Post/The Washington Post/Getty Images
WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 16: Charles Krauthammer, columnist for The Washington Post via Getty Images on March 16, 1985 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Ray Lustig/The Washington Post via Getty Images)(The Washington Post/The Washington Post/Getty Images)

Longtime columnist and television personality Charles Krauthammer died Thursday following his battle with cancer.

>> Read more trending news 

His death was announced by two organizations that employed him, Fox News Channel and The Washington Post.

The 68-year-old had been paralyzed below the neck in a diving accident yet graduated from Harvard Medical School in 1975 and practiced psychiatry.

He later developed a career as a Pulitzer Prize-winning author and commentator.

Krauthammer is credited with coining the term “The Reagan Doctrine” for President Reagan’s policy of aiding anti-Communist movements worldwide. He was a leading advocate for the Iraq War and a prominent critic of President Barack Obama, whom he praised for his “first-class intellect and first-class temperament” and denounced for having a “highly suspect” character.

In early June, "A note to readers," was published by The Washington Post, Krauthammer, wrote that he had a cancerous tumor removed from his abdomen in August. There were setbacks in his recovery that prevented him from working, but he thought he was making progress in his recovery.

The cancer has returned in an aggressive form, Krauthammer wrote.

"This is the final verdict. My fight is over," Krauthammer wrote.

In the post, Krauthammer thanked those who have assisted him during his medical treatment. He also thanked his Washington Post and Fox News colleagues, readers and viewers.

FILE - In this March 31, 2015 file photo, Charles Krauthammer talks about getting into politics during a news conference in Corpus Christi, Texas. (Gabe Hernandez/Corpus Christi Caller-Times via AP)(Gabe Hernandez/AP)

Krauthammer said he is leaving this life with no regrets.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Trending - Most Read Stories

Republicans delay compromise immigration vote until next week, hoping to rally support, reports say

Published: Thursday, June 21, 2018 @ 4:07 PM
Updated: Thursday, June 21, 2018 @ 4:07 PM

Watch – President Trump Signs Executive Order Ending Migrant Family Separations

Republican leaders have delayed a vote on a compromise immigration reform bill until next week, hoping to rally more support for the measure, according to news reports.

>> Read more trending news

The move follows the defeat Thursday of a separate, more conservative immigration bill in the House of Representatives.

>> What does the new executive order on immigration do; can migrants be held indefinitely?

Update 7:30 p.m. EDT June 21: President Donald Trump is criticizing Democrats for their opposition to the hard-line Goodlatte immigration bill, which was defeated in the U.S. House Thursday.

Tweeting that “they won’t vote for anything,” the president complained that Democrats are blocking reform.

“You cannot pass legislation on immigration whether it be for safety and security or any other reason including “heart,” without getting Dem votes. Problem is, they don’t care about security and R’s do,” Trump tweeted Thursday night.

Update 7:00 p.m. EDT June 21:  House Republicans are delaying a vote on a so-called compromise immigration measure until next week, according to The Associated Press.

A vote on the legislation was first rescheduled from Thursday until Friday after another, more severe immigration measure was defeated.

Republican leaders reportedly hope they can get more support for the compromise measure by delaying the vote.

Update 5:00 p.m. EDT June 21: The more conservative of two immigration bills in the U.S. House of Representatives went down in defeat Thursday as 41 Republicans joined the Democrats in a 231-193 vote against the measure, according to Cox Media Group’s Jamie Dupree

The hard-line measure called for extreme limits on legal immigration and only temporary protections for “Dreamers,” who were brought to the U.S. illegally as children by their parents.

The second bill is seen as more of a compromise measure, but it’s unclear if Republican leadership can manage to get the votes needed to pass it on Friday, and even if they do, it faces an even bigger hurdle in the Senate, where Republicans don’t have the votes to pass an immigration bill on their own. They’ll need Democrats’ support to get it done.

The Washington Post is reporting an important House moderate in the immigration debate, Rep. Will Hurd (R-TX) has said he won’t support the compromise measure.

Hurd has said he opposes the measure because it includes funding for a border wall, a campaign promise Trump made to supporters during the 2016 presidential campaign.

He called the proposed wall “an expensive and ineffective 4th century border security tool that takes private property away from hundreds of Texans,” according to the Post.

Update 2:45 p.m. EDT June 21:  The Justice Department has asked a federal judge to change the rules around the detention of child migrants one day after the president ended his administration’s policy of separating children from parents at the border, The Associated Press reported.

Officials aim to change rules governed by the Flores settlement, which requires the government to release children from custody after 20 days to their parents, adult relatives or other caretakers, in order of preference.

>> Time cover: Photo of little girl crying at border, Trump illustrates immigration debate

The move is aimed at stopping the separation of children from their families amid a new policy where anyone caught crossing the border is charged criminally.

Update 2:25 p.m. EDT June 21: The House of Representatives on Thursday rejected one of two proposed GOP immigration reform bills, according to Cox Media Group's Jamie Dupree.

 

Meanwhile, aides said the House will wait until Friday to vote on a second immigration bill, The Associated Press reported.

 

Update 1:18 p.m. EDT June 21: Trump discussed the need for immigration reform during a cabinet meeting Thursday, citing national security concerns.

 

Update 12:20 p.m. EDT June 21: First lady Melania Trump is making an unannounced visit to the U.S.-Mexico border Thursday.

 

Melania Trump was in Texas on Thursday morning and planned to tour two facilities holding child immigrants, CNN reported.

She previously spoke out against the policy of separating migrant children and parents at the border.

"Mrs. Trump hates to see children separated from their families and hopes both sides of the aisle can finally come together to achieve successful immigration reform," said her spokeswoman, Stephanie Grisham, according to CNN. "She believes we need to be a country that follows all laws, but also a country that governs with heart."

The Trump administration policy was ended Wednesday by an executive order from the president.

>> Photos: Melania Trump visits facilities for migrant children in Texas

Update 12:10 p.m. EDT June 21: House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi on Thursday called a pair of proposed Republican immigration reform bills a “compromise with the devil.”

She said that the bills make Republicans complicit in Trump’s “zero tolerance” immigration policy. The policy, which directs prosecutors to pursue cases against any person suspected of coming to the country illegally, resulted in the separation of hundreds of children from their parents at the border.

 

Update 11:55 a.m. EDT June 21: House Speaker Paul Ryan said officials are working on reuniting families that have been separated in recent weeks at the border.

“I believe (the Department of Homeland Security) is working on that,” Ryan said Thursday at a news briefing. “We obviously want to have families reunited.”

>> Airlines taking stand in immigration crisis, refusing to fly separated migrant children

He said DHS officials are working with the Department of Health and Human Services to bring the families back together.

“What we’re trying to do is put the families at the head of the queue so they can be adjudicated faster,” he said.

 

The Trump administration in April directed prosecutors to pursue cases against all people suspected of crossing the border illegally as part of a “zero tolerance” immigration enforcement policy. Parents were separated from their children as they faced prosecution. Nearly 2,000 children were separated from their families over a six-week period in April and May, according to the Department of Homeland Security.

>> First lady Melania Trump makes unannounced visit to child migrant detention center

Trump ended the policy Wednesday with an executive order days after he first started calling on Congress to stop the separations through legislation.

The House is set to vote Thursday on a pair of Republican immigration reform bills, although neither appeared likely to succeed.

 

Original report: “The Border has been a big mess and problem for many years,” Trump wrote. “At some point (Senate Minority Leader Chuck) Schumer and (House Minority Leader Nancy) Pelosi, who are weak on Crime and Border security, will be forced to do a real deal, so easy, that solves this long time problem.”

   

The president’s tweet comes one day after he ended his administration’s much-derided policy of separating migrant children from parents at the border and as the House readies to debate and vote on a pair of Republican immigration reform bills.

>> Trump signs executive order ending migrant family separations

It was not immediately clear whether the bills would be successful. House Republican leaders were still trying Thursday morning to build support for one negotiated among conservative and moderate factions of the GOP, although the measure is unlikely to pick up much, if any, Democratic support.

 >> From Jamie Dupree: House to vote on two GOP immigration bills – both may fail

Ahead of the planned vote, the president accused Democrats of “only looking to Obstruct” the immigration bills in order to gain political clout ahead of the mid-term elections.

“What is the purpose of the House doing good immigration bills when you need 9 votes by Democrats in the Senate, and the Dems are only looking to Obstruct (which they feel is good for them in the Mid-Terms),” Trump wrote Thursday morning in a tweet. “Republicans must get rid of the stupid Filibuster Rule-it is killing you!”

 

>> Trump ends migrant family separations: Read the executive order

Trump signed an executive order Wednesday to end his administration’s policy of separating migrant children from parents suspected of coming to the country illegally at the border. The controversial policy was a result of Trump’s “zero tolerance” immigration enforcement push announced in April.

Nearly 2,000 children were separated from their families over a six-week period in April and May, according to the Department of Homeland Security.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Trending - Most Read Stories

Officer was sworn in hours before killing unarmed teen, mayor says

Published: Thursday, June 21, 2018 @ 3:33 PM

Officer Allegedly Kills Unarmed Teen After Being Sworn In Hours Before

An East Pittsburgh police officer who shot and killed an unarmed 17-year-old running from a traffic stop Tuesday night was sworn in just hours before the fatal encounter.

Mayor Louis Payne told WPXI Wednesday that the unidentified officer who killed Antwon Michael Rose, of Rankin, previously spent seven years working in other departments, but confirmed that he was working his first shift following his official swearing in with the East Pittsburgh Police Department.

Allegheny County police officials said that Rose was a passenger in a vehicle stopped in East Pittsburgh around 8:20 p.m. Tuesday because it fit the description of a car seen fleeing the area of a shooting in the nearby borough of North Braddock. As an officer handcuffed the driver of the car, which investigators said had bullet damage to the back window, Rose and a second passenger got out of the car and ran. 

Footage of the shooting posted on Facebook Tuesday shows the scene from a distance. The 18-second video shows Rose and the other passenger, who has not been found by police, get out of the car and make a break for the yard between two nearby houses.

Three shots are heard and one of the passengers appears to fall into the grass.

“Why are they shooting at him?” the woman recording the traffic stop says. “Why are they shooting? All they did was run and they’re shooting at them!”

Rose, who police officials said was struck three times, was taken to McKeesport Hospital, where he was pronounced dead. 

The Allegheny County medical examiner on Thursday ruled the teen’s death a homicide. 

Though officers said they found two guns in the car after the shooting, Rose was not armed when he was shot, police officials said

Click here to watch the footage of the shooting. Warning: Some viewers might find the images too graphic.

Pictured is the spot on East Pittsburgh's Grandview Avenue where unarmed teen Antwon Rose was shot and killed by a police officer Tuesday, June 19, 2018. Witnesses said Rose, 17, was shot in the back as he ran from a traffic stop.(AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)

The officer who killed the teen has been placed on administrative leave while the Allegheny County police’s Homicide Unit investigates the shooting. Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen Zappala Jr. issued a statement Thursday in which he said he had met with police officials, but that the investigation into Rose’s death remained ongoing.  

“Out of respect for the grieving process that the family and friends of Mr. Rose are going through and the upcoming Monday funeral for Mr. Rose, District Attorney Zappala will not have any further comment until next week.”

CBS News reported that the officers at the scene were not wearing body cameras. Their patrol cars also had no cameras. 

>> Read more trending news

The shooting has sparked protests, including a protest of hundreds that shut down the street outside the Allegheny County Courthouse Thursday morning.  WPXI livestreamed the protest on Facebook

Hundreds of people also gathered Wednesday night, despite rain pouring down on them. 

Rose’s family has hired civil rights attorney Lee Merritt, who talked to WPXI Thursday morning near the scene of the teen’s death. Merritt said he was looking for witnesses to the shooting to determine what the officer might have seen as Rose and the other passenger fled. 

Merritt told the news station that Rose’s family wants the officer to be treated the same as anyone who was shown, on video, shooting a man who was running away. 

“If you take away the uniform and you put that same video out there, we believe that an arrest would have been made by now,” Merritt said. “Not necessarily a conviction, because that’s a process and everyone is entitled to due process.”

He said officers accused of misconduct should be treated like everyone else. 

“It’s very difficult to find justification for the use of deadly force given the facts as they were presented in that video,” Merritt said. “Antwon and the other young man did not appear to present any harm or danger to that officer or anyone.”

He said Rose’s family is devastated by his death. 

“Every day that they wake up, they’re hoping that this is all a bad dream,” Merritt said

Trending - Most Read Stories

Common vaccine could reverse advanced diabetes cases, study finds

Published: Thursday, June 21, 2018 @ 3:41 PM

Testing blood sugar levels with home test devices  is often an important part of managing diabetes and preventing complications.
Pixabay
Testing blood sugar levels with home test devices is often an important part of managing diabetes and preventing complications.(Pixabay)

Scientists from Massachusetts General Hospital announced breakthrough findings Thursday for people living with Type 1 diabetes.

>> Read more trending news 

According to the new research published in the journal npj Vaccines, a common vaccine for tuberculosis (the bacillus Calmette-Guérrin, or BCG, vaccine) could reverse advanced cases of the disease by permanently lowering blood sugar levels.

Lead researcher Denise Faustman and her team examined data on 282 individuals, 52 of whom had Type 1 diabetes and participated in the BCG clinical trials and 230 of whom contributed blood samples.

>> Related: Diabetes after age 50 could be sign of pancreatic cancer, study says

Those participating in the clinical trials (average disease duration of 19 years) were given the vaccine twice four weeks apart and then studied for about eight years following treatment.

Regular monitoring throughout the eight-year study found that HbA1c levels of individuals receiving the vaccine dropped by more than 10 percent at the three-year mark and by more than 18 percent after four years of treatment. These levels reached near-normal figures five years after treatment.

>> Related: Diabetes after age 50 could be sign of pancreatic cancer, study says

HbA1c refers to glycated hemoglobin, which develops when hemoglobin, the red blood cell protein that carries oxygen throughout the body, is combined with glucose in the blood.

Participants treated with BCG were found to have an average HbA1c of 6.65 four years later. The threshold for diabetes diagnosis is close to an HbA1c of 6.5.

Researchers saw a delay in the results of a previous BCG study from Italy, so they revisited their own study, WBUR reported.

“The secret of [those] trials was that the drug took a while to kick in,” she said. “That gave us a pretty good clue that the time course for this drug […] was different than we originally knew,” Faustman said.

>> Related: Scientists may have found a way to reverse type 2 diabetes

Individuals in that near normal range have dramatically reduced risk of associated complications, such as renal disease, heart disease and blindness.

The vaccine, according to the researchers, helps the body boost production of tumor necrosis factor, a hormone especially beneficial to Type 1 diabetics.

In 2001, Faustman's team first reported that inducing TNF production may cure Type 1 diabetes in mice, “but since TNF dosing is toxic in humans, clinical trials have utilized BCG for its ability to elevate TNF levels safely,” Medical Xpress reported.

>> Related: Loneliness increases your risk of Type 2 diabetes, study suggests

The MGH researchers also noted that BCG may reduce blood sugar elevations in mice caused by non-autoimmune attacks. This raises the possibility that the vaccines may even be beneficial against Type 2 diabetes.

Faustman is also expected to present five-year follow-up results of a separate group of BCG clinical trial participants at the 78th Scientific Sessions of the American Diabetes Association in Orlando, Florida on Saturday, June 23.

The researchers plan to replicate these findings with another trial currently underway.

 >> Related: Men with obese wives have increased risk of diabetes, researchers say 

Approximately 1.25 million American children and adults have Type 1 diabetes, according to the American Diabetes Association.

In Type 1 diabetes, the insulin-producing beta cells of the pancreas are “mistakenly attacked and destroyed by the immune system,” according to Medical News Today.

And in Type 2, the most common category of diabetes accounting for 90-95 percent of all cases, the body’s cells either stop responding to insulin or the beta cells can’t produce enough of the hormone.

>> Related: This is what 12 Diet Cokes a day can do to your body, according to Atlanta nutritionists 

People suffering from either type of the disease have blood sugar levels that can become too high. This condition is called hyperglycemia and can lead to kidney disease, heart disease and more if it’s not properly controlled or treated.

Trending - Most Read Stories