Mar Figueroa-Rohena, a 17-year-old resident of Lema Lane in Palm Coast and a student at Matanzas High School, was arrested on felony charges after allegedly repeatedly attacking another 17 year old with a taser during a brawl at Ralph Carter Park Wednesday afternoon that drew upward of 30 people, many of them participants who plied the victim with violence.
Some of the incident was captured in a video taken by an individual at the park on a phone. The footage, disturbing for the matter-of-factness and prolonged viciousness of mob-like violence concentrated on a single individual, goes on over four minutes of screams, blows, slurs and racial epithets, and the tell-tale sound of a taser that keeps discharging again and again and again. The camera angle isn’t always pointed on the brawl, which breaks up and reignites, and at one point shows a shirtless teenage boy apparently vomiting by the side of an SUV before being aided into it and, presumably, away from the mob.
The victim of the tasing was in fact taken to AdventHealth Palm Coast because he was “vomiting uncontrollably,” according to a sheriff’s report.
Every few moments a Snapchat banner flashes at the top of the video from a series of users with the line: “Erybody in Dis Piece Dead.”
A taser or tazer is an electroshock weapon that results in something similar to temporary paralysis and that’s used by law enforcement as a “non-lethal” method to control non-compliant and potentially violent individuals. “A nonlethal stun gun or dart-firing stun gun or other nonlethal electric weapon or device that is designed solely for defensive purposes” is legal for adults to carry in Florida and does not require a permit. But the law does not preclude prosecution for the use of a stun gun during the commission of a crime.
Deputies spoke with the individual who filmed the brawl–and who told deputies he could identify the person who used the weapon–and did so as Figueroa-Rohena appeared in the front seat of a car as the individual was speaking with deputies.
According to Figueroa-Rohena arrest report, deputies responded to the park off Rymfire Drive in palm Coast, near Rymfire Elementary, in mid-afternoon Wednesday. A woman told deputies that several people had come to her door and threatened to fight her son and “shoot up the place.” Her son, L., gathered his friends and made a plan to meet the alleged assailants at the park and fight them to “correct their issues,” as the sheriff’s report puts it. Once there, they saw from 30 to 40 people there.
L.’s mother told deputies that when the fight started, she saw a girl or a woman grab a baseball bat and strike a vehicle, which caused the teens to disperse in the way of some vehicles, some of them supposedly getting struck by the cars. Neither baseball bat nor damaged car were located by deputies. The woman told deputies she attempted to calm the situation but was unable to. L. sought to protect his mother over disrespectful comments directed at her.
The victim of the repeated tasing told deputies he was beaten by numerous people. Deputies recognized tasing or burn marks on his abdomen, left arm and on his back. Figueroa-Rohena told deputies she had been kicked herself. Her arrest report states that she acted “without having any remorse for her actions.” But the taser used in the brawl was not located at the scene.
Figueroa-Rohena was charged with aggravated battery with a deadly weapon and using a weapon while committing a felony, itself a felony. (FlaglerLive does not ordinarily name juveniles charged in crimes. Among the exceptions are when a juvenile commits a crime with a weapon.)
The incident appears to have dismayed Sheriff Rick Staly particularly, both for the breakdown at the park and what had led to it. “There is no doubt that without the intervention of family members and law enforcement, this feud between these two groups will continue and will escalate until someone is seriously injured or killed,” the sheriff said in a statement. “We have 30 to 40 people all participating in a brawl at a park. This is completely unacceptable and is not the way to solve a disagreement. One juvenile is already in custody and the investigation is on ongoing. Anyone participating in this kind of behavior in our community is going to be arrested. I promise you, no argument is worth losing your life over or being arrested for a serious crime. Parents, know where your kids and young adults are, know what they’re doing on social media, and know who they are hanging around with. It is my job to be the head law enforcement officer of the county, but it is your responsibility to be the main law enforcement officer of your household.”
Caution: Video contains profanity, racial slurs, and violence.