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Palm Coast Resident Is Baker Acted Then Jailed On Charges of Strangling and Maiming Kittens

| May 29, 2012

angel roman cruelty kittens killed bitten

Angel Roman.

Note: See a Feb. 11, 2013 update on this case, when Roman was sentenced, here.

The question raised by the arrest and jailing of 28-year-old Angel Roman–for the eighth time in less than three years, this time on animal cruelty charges–is why the Palm Coast resident continues to end up in jail instead of receiving treatment.

People who know him and who have talked to police say he suffers from several mental illnesses. What precipitated his latest arrest was, in fact, the invocation of Florida’s Baker Act, which allows authorities to incarcerate an individual, against his or her will, at (in Flagler and Volusia’s case) Halifax Hospital’s locked-down mental health ward, where patients are evaluated for a period, treated, but also usually released within a few days, since the ward is not a long-term care facility.

Roman was Baker Acted on May 20. Three days later, Flagler County Circuit Court Judge Raul Zambrano signed a warrant for his arrest on felony charges of cruelty to animals. On Saturday (May 26), Roman turned himself in at the jail, where he remains on $100,000 bond. The answer to the question posed by his history and issues of mental illness remain unanswered, though Roman’s case is not unusual: local jails routinely end up warehousing individuals who–as their guards know, as road cops who arrest them know, as social agencies who deal with them know–would be better served in treatment centers. But those treatment beds are few and expensive. The state is investing less, not more, in caring for the mental health of the indigent.

So people like Roman end up in jail, as Roman himself has in the recent past for domestic battery, breach of the peace, disorderly conduct, criminal mischief, trespassing–the sort of serial behavior often associated less with a criminal mind than a mind in need of professional attention. That’s the context of the brutal story that follows.

On May 20, an official from Flagler and Volusia Support Services told Flagler County’s dispatch unit that he believed Roman should be Baker Acted because he’d injured several kittens and possibly strangled two of them, according to a police report. Roman was living with roommates at Burton Place in Palm Coast. Rollings told cops that Roman had admitted to him that he’d accidentally choked a kitten two weeks earlier, and that he “bit the lips off one of the kittens and burnt its ear and whiskers with a lighter,” according to the report. Rollins also told cops that “Roman suffers from several mental illnesses and he believed that Roman needed to be Baker Acted for his safety and the safety of others.”


Roman admitted to a cop to injuring the kittens, but by accident. “He advised,” the deputy wrote of Roman, “that he has been depressed lately because his girlfriend is gone and that is why he harmed the animals.” Then Roman clamped up, the report notes, at which time Roman was Baker Acted.

The owners of the kittens had rented a room to Roman. They were unaware of the harm to the kittens until May 20. One of the landlords told a deputy that Roman spends a lot of time with the kittens, holding them all the time, and that trouble may have started when the landlords were out of town, leaving Roman alone with the kittens. At one point Roman called the landlords to let them know that someone was interested in taking ownership of two of them. They granted permission. But a couple of days later, when everyone was back in the house, a kitten was found dead. The landlords initially attributed it to natural causes. But then they noticed another kitten had a few injuries. Those injuries worsened quickly.

When his roommates asked him about the kittens, Roman admitted that he had choked the one that had been found dead weeks earlier, and described how he had injured the other, called Oreo. On May 20, the animal was turned over to Palm Coast’s animal control division, then examined by a veterinarian on may 21, who confirmed that the injuries had been inflicted as Roman had described it.

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23 Responses for “Palm Coast Resident Is Baker Acted Then Jailed On Charges of Strangling and Maiming Kittens”

  1. danielle says:

    angel is my brother in law and i know a lot about the altercations that he has had and everything else that people are claiming he has done. he’s not perfect. leave him alone and let him try to get the help he needs

       3 likes

  2. Mods says:

    I have been around (not friends but knew him) Angel since I was 13. I am now 22 years old. I knew he had mental issues just talking to him for a little bit something was off. A couple of months ago, I was at my boyfriends house having a yard sale and Angel came by and just asked to place some of his stuff out ( broken and messed up). My boyfriend said ok. I had to walk down the street (where this took place) and make sure our signs were still up. He asked me out on a date and I said uhhh my boyfriend wouldnt like that or something of the sort trying to turn him down gently because I felt bad. He then kept trying to persuade me to go into the house with him. I said yeahhhhh…after I am done. He followed me the whole time finally he road is bike and stopped to look at another yard sale. I ran back to my boyfriends house ran inside and said I am not coming out I felt uncomfortable. He didnt come back to the house for his stuff or anything. Reading this freaked me out so bad and Im glad I went with my intuition to not go into the house because I felt sorry. I find it quite sick and disturbing. I am going to school for Criminology and I understand mental issues are a big problem in this society but who is to say what he is or isnt capable of. It scares me that I was that close to someone who would do that but I also understand anyone has the capability ill or not.

       3 likes

  3. Sendglow says:

    Please don’t associate the mentally ill, the vast majority of whom are law-abiding, functioning members of society, with cases such as this. Everything is not a matter of “sane or insane” or “rational or irrational”. There is still right and wrong, or else we wouldn’t have jails, only mental hospitals.

    EVIL men hide behind the label of mental illness, and the moral relativists who come to their defense make it worse for the rest of us by feeding the stigma and stereotypes.

    You cannot get an evil streak out of someone with drugs and therapy; that is what prison is for.

       2 likes

  4. K says:

    I too know Roman and have since high school. I do not blame his family for his actions. BUT he is a grown man and this isnt the first. to his family who claims he hasnt been in real trouble , where have you been? I personally have witnesssed him beating on his girlfriend as she was trying to ride away on her bike. I have seen him MANY at least 10 times in physical altercations that he started out of no where. I do understand he must be very sick and agree maybe jail isnt the perfect spot for him but a PERMANENT mental institution is best for him and those in our county , and others. He IS a danger to himself and OBVIOUSLY others. none of us are perfect but I know myself i have never beat anyone up , or harmed an animal especially not in that way. There most definately is something wrong. In hs he seemed to be an ok person he was in classes similar to dropout prevention/ese type classes. not because he is dumb as some might think but because he is troubled. I can see both sides of the fence and people who only cast hate should step back and unless u know the young man personally then watch what you say and to those who think he is sikc i agree he is very very sick and needs serious help before he does something worse that he may never be able to recover emotionally from. I wish the best to his family through this tought time and know it was not you that made his decisions for him, he , although sick,. must take responsibility for his actions.

       0 likes

  5. Loriel says:

    I really do not care about his mental issues; obviously anyone who is “normal” would not intentionally torture an animal. Lock him up and get him off the streets. I have no sympathy for this cowardly animal abuser.

       1 likes

  6. Rich says:

    There is a special place in hell for those that abuse animals.

       2 likes

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