Society

Homeowner Fights Off Armed Robbers With Machete (Video)

| by Michael Allen

An unidentified homeowner chased a group of armed robbers with a machete in the early morning hours of June 15 in Sarasota, Florida (video below).

Surveillance video from the homeowner's porch shows Alen Beltran-Vazquez, Angel Cabrera-Basulto and Ronier Jauregui-Lorente entering with a shotgun, machete and crowbar, according to the Sarasota County Sheriff's Office.

The homeowner first grabs a plank of wood, but then retreats as one of the suspects comes at him with a shotgun. Moments later, the homeowner is seen roaring back with a machete.

The sheriff's office said Cabrera-Basulto and Jauregui-Lorente fled the scene, but that the homeowner held Beltran-Vazquez in custody until deputies arrived.

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The homeowner told the deputies that two more men were involved in the incident. Authorities arrested four men wearing dark clothing at a nearby gas station, based on a description of their vehicle.

According to the sheriff's office, the two other men involved were Jorge Valido-Leyva and Roberto Salcedo-Balanza.

Police questioned the suspects, and two admitted to the robbery.

The sheriff's office said it charged Jauregui-Lorente and Cabrera-Basulto with two counts of armed robbery, while Beltran-Vazquez was charged with two counts of armed robbery and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, and Valido-Leyva and Salcedo-Balanza were charged with two counts of principal to armed robbery.

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In more crime news, a judge convicted a woman of involuntary manslaughter in Taunton, Massachusetts, on June 16 because of text messages she sent when she was 17-years-old.

Michelle Carter was found guilty because she sent texts to her then-boyfriend Conrad Roy III encouraging him to kill himself in July 2014, according to The Associated Press.

The 18-year-old filled his truck with carbon monoxide while sitting in a store parking lot in Fairhaven, Massachusetts.

Juvenile Court Judge Lawrence Moniz noted that Carter sent a text to Roy that said: "Get back in," according to a friend of Carter, after Roy climbed out of his truck and told Carter he was scared.

Moniz said those three words were "wanton and reckless conduct."

Carter also reportedly sent Roy other texts on the day of his suicide.

"You can’t think about it," one message reportedly read. "You just have to do it. You said you were gonna do it. Like I don’t get why you aren’t."

"I thought you wanted to do this," Carter allegedly wrote in another. "The time is right and you’re ready ... just do it babe."

Carter faces up to 20 years in prison, but has an ally in Matthew Segal, legal director at the ACLU of Massachusetts.

On June 16, Segal released a statement regarding Carter's guilty verdict: 

Mr. Roy’s death is a terrible tragedy, but it is not a reason to stretch the boundaries of our criminal laws or abandon the protections of our constitution.

There is no law in Massachusetts making it a crime to encourage someone, or even to persuade someone, to commit suicide. Yet Ms. Carter has now been convicted of manslaughter, based on the prosecution’s theory that, as a 17-year-old girl, she literally killed Mr. Roy with her words. This conviction exceeds the limits of our criminal laws and violates free speech protections guaranteed by the Massachusetts and U.S. Constitutions.

The implications of this conviction go far beyond the tragic circumstances of Mr. Roy’s death. If allowed to stand, Ms. Carter’s conviction could chill important and worthwhile end-of-life discussions between loved ones across the Commonwealth.

Sources: Sarasota County Sheriff's Office, AP, ACLU of Massachusetts / Photo Credit: Dana60Cummins/Wikimedia Commons

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