In a case that’s drawn outsized attention from the Flagler Beach community, Circuit Judge Terence Perkins denied lowering Gabriella Alo’s $18,500 bond on charges of running over a 29-year-old woman who’d come to the aid of a 15-year-old boy Alo and her brother are accused of beating up on jan. 11 at Wickline Park in Flagler Beach.
Perkins not only denied the lower bond. He took the unusual step of saying that the bond, set by Circuit Judge Chris France after Alo’s first court appearance, was “too low,” and “should be $100,000.” But a judge is barred by law from raising a bond or changing conditions on the same charges once set. (Notably, France did not have the benefit of what amounted to victim-impact statements, nor of Alo’s history, nor of the effect a half-full courtroom might have on the dynamics of a decision—which is partly why the law recognizes that one judge’s decision cannot be amplified by another, at least at this stage, with both sides still mobilizing elements of the case.)
Still, the reason Alo, 18, was seeking a lower bond is because neither she nor her family are in a position to post the $1,850 bail that would be required to bond out.
Bond hearings are usually routine, seldom drawing attention beyond the lawyers and defendants involved. Not today. Some 30 people filled the courtroom, including 24 people who’d turned out to support Kaitlin Dahme, the Flagler Beach resident who got run-over, and four who accompanied the 15-year-old victim, his mother among them.
Also unusual for a bond hearing, both Dahme and the 15-year-old boy’s mother addressed the court, asking that Alo’s bond not be lowered, and asking that she be placed on a GPS ankle monitor if she were to be released. They also sought no-contact orders. Such orders are almost always part of the first-appearance results, but no one in court today could figure out how such orders had been left out of that appearance. As with raising a bond amount, a judge is barred from imposing a no-contact order absent a new motion by the prosecution. Assistant State Attorney Tara Libby could had not filed such a motion, but said she would.
Alo and her brother, Nicholas Alo, 21, are accused of assaulting the 15 year old, who had been a friend of theirs on and off for two years. As one or the other Alo was allegedly pummeling the boy, Dahme, who lives across the street from the park and was being dropped off by her mother, rushed over to halt the assault and keep Gabrielle Alo from driving off. Instead, Alo backed over Dahme twice, severely injuring Dahme’s foot and ankle.
“Prior to being senselessly run over by Gabriella Alo,” I was working two jobs six days a week, going to the gym every day,” Dahme told the court. “I do a lot of yoga, taking my dog for walks along the beach. All things I can’t do anymore and don’t know if I’ll ever be able to do again. Gabriella had the opportunity to do the right thing. She thought about it for 17 seconds as my right knee was pinned under her front passenger tire. She chose to run over me again, and then left me for dead and acted as if she did nothing wrong. I’m now suffering from multiple injuries, the worst being a crushed ankle that could likely affect me for the rest of my life.”
Until the attack, Dahme had worked at Tortugas and Island Grill restaurants in Flagler Beach. “Just this far, I am $100,000 in debt and hospital bills. I can’t walk. I can’t work. I can’t even shower or dress myself. The road to recovery hasn’t been easy and it’s barely begun.”
Addressing the court, the mother of the 15 year old described how her son had befriended Gabriela Alo, had had a falling out with her, but then thought they had patched things up and were friends again the very day she allegedly assaulted him. He has “suffered immense mental struggles” as a result of believing that he had been back on good terms with Alo. “He’s also dealing with the immense guilt and struggles with knowing that the other victim put herself in the line of fire.” She had concerns that Alo, once freed, would seek to harm her son again.
Assistant Public Defender Regina Nunnally pre-empted Perkins, telling him she could not see the judge releasing Alo on her own recognizance. But she argued for a $10,000 bond, saying that Alo had shown the ability to be responsible following the months after her release from juvenile jail just last November (at least until the assault at Wickline Park). She had secured a vehicle, was living on her own (in an extended-stay motel in Jacksonville), had stopped doing drugs, and was working on getting a job with her father’s help. Her parents and two brother live in Palm Coast.
Assistant Public Defender Tara Libby ridiculed the claim, then went over Alo’s juvenile record which, since 2020, has been an aggregation of criminal charges, including a domestic violence battery charge for assaulting her mother, a burglary charge, and other charges. Then came the January incident.
“This is one of those cases where I would say that $100,000 is still too low,” Libby argued to the court. “Ms. Alo is a danger to the community. She’s been in Flagler County for four years and since 2020, she’s done nothing but commit crime.” Libby called Dahme “a true innocent bystander” and “a true hero.”
Perkins had been shocked by the case, but legally, his hands were tied. “I’m following the law. I’m doing what I’m supposed to do,” he said, after wishing the bond was at $100,000. “I think these bonds are low. I also think that a no-contact order would be appropriate. But again, I can’t add that to it.”
So in the end, Alo left the courtroom with her bond just what it was when she had walked in, and without a no-contact order. Even though she is at the Flagler County jail–where she had an unrelated incident and was tased by deputies, though she does not face additional charges from that–no-contact orders apply to phone calls as well, calls she could theoretically be making, though she’d be recorded.
Alo was ready to make a statement of her own to the court. Nunnally tried to dissuade her, but appeared unable to stop her. Then Perkins intervened, and told Alo that while she had every right to speak, it could potentially hurt her case. He recommended she follow her attorney’s advice. Alo, pausing a while, finally waved off her statement and remained silent.
Sitting in the court brought such a mix of emotions and left me feeling sick deep inside. It is obvious from Alo’s juvenile record and apparent family dysfunction that she had a slim chance of developing into a functioning member of society. Her speak had a street inflection and goodness knows how she was able to secure a vehicle, pay the insurance, purchase gas and live outside of her family’s home without a job at 18-years of age and fresh out of detention. I’ve said it before, and will most likely repeat it numerous more times, we are failing our youth and the Juvenile Justice System is failing miserably. Ms. Dahme is a responsible young lady who had the misfortune of crossing paths with a person with a violent past. We have yet to learn why the Alo siblings traveled from Palm Coast to a dark corner of Wickline Park to inflict havoc – regardless it won’t cure Ms. Dahme’s injuries or pay for her extensive medical bills. This situation is sad on so many levels.
It sounds like she might be a ticking time bomb.
“Ms. Alo has been in Flagler County for four years (since 2020) and has done nothing but commit crimes.”
Hmm, I wonder where Ms. Alo is from?
Flagler County was a small, quiet, and tranquil beach town until all the rift-raft moved in.
Doug’s comment is inaccurate. The crime rate has been falling sharply in Flagler for almost a decade even as the county’s population has been increasing by thousands each year.
Bear Man says
Using the term run over is not an accurate description of what occurred. Alo basically parked on Kait’s leg and remained there for 17 seconds while Kait screamed in agony. All that time Alo was obviously aware of the situation as she was a few feet away from her. At that point Alo made the decision to basically peel out off of her leg and flee the scene. She then had an incident at the jail where she wasnt tased enough, but it was unrelated. I would argue that it was in fact related. Both of these incidents occurred because of Alo’s criminal mentality. It was no surprise that the parents of this walking talking burden on society were not present for the hearing. Maybe they realized the responsibility they hold in creating this burden, but more likely this was just par for the course in how much they support their spawn. She was working on getting a job with her father’s help…what a laughable statement. The defense attorney should add that she plans to go to college and maybe whip out some pictures of her as a kid. Those are classic tactics of a lame defense.
Can only imagine what the future holds for her, and it isn’t a positive outlook.
Kait's Law says
A law needs to be enacted that addresses a person that is uninsured or under insured causing harm like this to another person that doesnt have enough insurance to cover the expenses associated with the event. In this case, if Kait doesnt have enough insurance to cover the $100,000 in medical bills she will then become a victim for a second time. These expenses will follow her until they are satisfied or she files bankruptcy. Her credit will be ruined because of her assailant. She will receive constant reminders of the event for the rest of her life in the form of bills. A law needs to be created whereby all the uncovered medical expenses be transferred to the name of the guilty party. This will lay the financial burden solely in the lap in which it belongs.
Davis William says
You can bleed money from a turnip!