DAYTONA BEACH, FL – Three teens were arrested on March 4, 2021, following an investigation into the robbery and battery of a special needs woman. The woman was riding in the car with the teens under the guise of friendship when they began threatening her with a knife and a stun gun before physically attacking her and preventing her from calling law enforcement. The woman escaped the car and the teens drove away with all of her belongings, including her cell phone, still in the vehicle.
17-year-olds Madeline and Angelina were each charged with Robbery with a Weapon, False Imprisonment, Tampering with a Victim Preventing Communication to Law Enforcement, Aggravated Assault with Deadly Weapon and Battery. 16-year-old Jack was charged with Robbery with Weapon and Tampering with a Victim Preventing Communication to Law Enforcement.
On March 10, 2021, the victim contacted the State Attorney’s Office in an effort to recant her story. Detectives LaVerne and Crosbee, accompanied by Corporal Rodriguez, met with the victim to discuss her case. The victim told detectives that the suspects’ friends and relatives were harassing her in an attempt to persuade her to drop the charges.
The main subject contacting the victim was identified as 15-year-old Sabrina who continually berated the victim over Facebook Messenger for five days and blamed her for ruining the teens’ lives, even after the victim repeatedly asked Sabrina to cease contacting her.
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The victim told detectives that she had been comfortable and felt safe about the investigation until the harassing behavior from Sabrina began. She also confirmed that the sole reason she was upset and subsequently uncooperative with the State Attorney’s Office was due to how she was being treated by Sabrina.
Detectives made contact with Sabrina at her home who admitted to being aware of the victim’s disability and claimed to have been contacting the victim in an effort to learn the truth. Sabrina attempted to justify her behavior, however, when confronted with the evidence in the case she stated that she no longer wished to speak with law enforcement and the interview ended.
“For 5 days, this girl continually blamed and harassed the victim to the point that she suffered such emotional trauma that she broke down and stopped cooperating with the State Attorney’s Office in an attempt to get the harassment to stop,” Sheriff Rick Staly said. “These kids need to know that their actions have serious consequences and it is not okay to bully or badger anyone, especially a victim of a crime. Let this be a warning to anyone who thinks they can influence the outcome of one of our criminal cases by harassing victims; you will be caught and you will face serious consequences and in this case a 1st degree felony which is higher than her friends’ charges. I hope that the Department of Juvenile Justice and the court system takes this case seriously and doesn’t think that a slap on the wrist is going to fix the problem.”
Sabrina was placed under arrest and charged with Harassing a Victim. Tampering with or Harassing a Witness, Victim or Informant (Florida Statute 914.22) is punishable at the same level or a level higher than the charge of original offense. In this case, Sabrina was charged with a first degree felony. She was transported to the Sheriff Perry Hall Inmate Detention Facility and turned over to the Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) in Daytona Beach. DJJ released Sabrina to her parent. “The DJJ system is broken,” added Sheriff Staly.