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An alert gas station customer called the Monroe Sheriff’s Office Thursday night after a domestic abuse victim, who had just had a wine glass smashed in her face, asked him to call the police while her boyfriend was inside buying beer.
Less that a mile from the Circle K convenience store at mile marker 99 in Key Largo, where the witness called police, deputies pulled over a Chevrolet Silverado pickup truck driven by Dean Tropeano, 49, of Palm Beach, around 7:15 p.m. The victim was in the passenger’s side seat with a “large amount of blood” on the side of her face, Deputy Mario Fajardo wrote in his report.
At first, the victim told Fajardo that she fell while fishing, but when he got her out of the truck and away from Tropeano, she said, “Help me,” and told him Tropeano hit her in the face with a wine glass following an argument at the motel where they were staying.
The argument happened following a phone call the woman had with her daughter. After Tropeano hit her, the victim told Fajardo he “offered to clean her up” but he wanted to get beer first. They drove to the Circle K. When Tropeano went inside, the woman asked a stranger to call the police for help.
Deputies who went to the couple’s motel room reported finding “large amounts” of blood on the floor, as well as glass, according to Fajardo’s report. First responders took the victim to Mariners Hospital in Tavernier, where she received stitches.
Along with the aggravated battery charge Tropeano faces for allegedly hitting the woman, he also faces felony resisting arrest with violence.
According to Fajardo’s report, when he was interviewing the woman, his colleague, Deputy Cody Kerns, was giving Tropeano “loud verbal commands” to get out of the truck. Fajardo said Tropeano pushed Kerns away and tried to punch him. Kerns had to “apply a leg sweep” to finally subdue Tropeano, according to Fajardo’s report.
On Friday, Tropeano was in Key West jail with no bond information available.