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Brothers Found Not Guilty on Charges of Batt LEO, Family Says Deputies Lied Under Oath

BROOKSVILLE – Just over one year ago RNRF reported the arrest of three people who allegedly battered Sheriff’s Deputies during a family disturbance at a residence on Stardust Way.

According to arrest affidavits, Salvatore Defranco, 24, Alexander “Joey” Defranco, 18, and Vanessa Steiger, 21, all faced charges of battery on a law enforcement officer and resisting arrest. The trio posted bond, retained counsel, and prepared to the case trial. CLICK HERE FOR ORIGINAL REPORT

On June 15th, 2016, after just three days of testimony a Jury found the brothers not guilty on all charges – but the story doesn’t end there.

After the trial, Georgette and Sal Sr., the boy’s parents, contacted RNRF regarding what they say were “lies” told by deputies in depositions and during the trial. I sat down with the family as few weeks ago, where they provided partial video of the incident and pointed out areas in testimony where they say Deputies lied. CLICK HERE FOR VIDEO

In the video you can see Joey being carried under the arms by Deputy Shaun Duval and Deputy Gregory Locke. Deputy Vincent Mascitelli is seen protecting the other two deputies but not having physical contact with Joey That’s where the Georgette says the inconsistencies begin.

The following are excerpts from deposition testimony between Mascitelli and the brother’s attorney, Scott Boardman:

[After Joey kicks Deputy Duval and is pepper sprayed, Mascitelli says he was kicked]

Q. Okay, but it was at that point that he kicked you?
A. Yeah, during – after Shaun (Duval) had given him the initial burst of the pepper spray.
Q. Okay, After the pepper spray he kicks?
A. Yes.
Q. Where did he kick you?
A. In my legs.
Q. One leg or was it more than one kick?
A. I don’t recall. It was definitely one of my legs.
Q. Okay, The timing from the pepper spray to the first kick, how many seconds?
A. I don’t recall. It was quick.

The video clearly shows that Mascitelli was not kicked and he had no contact with Joey, despite claims that he helped carry him to the patrol car.

Before trial began, prosecutors dropped one charge of battery on a LEO after viewing the video.

Georgette brought another questionable piece of evidence to our attention; a written supplement added to Mascitelli’s arrest report, alleging that the Defranco family is “usually combative with law enforcement” and that they have “numerous years of training in mixed martial arts.” Both claims were unsubstantiated and untrue according to Georgette.

During the deposition Mascitelli is asked how many times he has responded to the residence. Mascitelli only recalled one but says there may have been two responses. The first call was to help resolve issues with the Defranco’s neighbors. Mascitelli says he helped the family with creating a safe firing range to alleviate concerns from their neighbors. Mascitelli couldn’t remember why he respond the second time.

Both allegations are unfounded, says Georgette, and she says the testimony was only added by Mascitelli to enhance perception that the family had a history of violence.

We contacted the Sheriff’s Office regarding the discrepancies and asked if they were going to open an investigation into the Defranco Case. Public Information Officer Denise Moloney responded “It is being looked into.” I later asked Moloney if the Sheriff’s Office could provide a comment regarding Mascitelli’s testimony; she said, “I’m trying to figure out the question you asked.  At this point, I am unable to advise.”

The one issue that still remained is whether Joey was guilty of battering Dep. Duval when he kicked him in the leg. Throughout the video Joey and the Anthony Defranco (the one filming the video) are overheard several times saying that Joey has bad shoulders. Despite that information, Duval and Locke continue to carry Joey under the arms until he kicks Duval in the leg.

During the trial Georgette says Judge Toner addressed that issue by reading Florida Statute 776.012 – the use of non-deadly force. According to statute, A person is justified in the use of non-deadly force in self-defense where the person reasonably believes that such conduct is necessary to defend himself or herself or another against such other’s imminent use of unlawful force.

We asked lead prosecutor Joseph Church what he thought of the acquittal and he said “I’m still scratching my head.” He believed the brothers were guilty and should have been convicted based on the evidence.

Georgette says the entire incident could have been avoided if the deputies had treated the situation as a Baker Act. Georgette says Joey suffered several losses in the years leading up to the incident and he was extremely depressed.

Georgette says “All the deputies lied under oath” and that’s why her sons were found not guilty.

Vanessa Steiger accepted a plea deal in lieu of taking her case to trial.

It should also be noted that Deputy Vincent Mascitelli was recently suspended after allegations emerged that he masturbated in his patrol car. Follow this link for the full story:DEPUTY SUSPENDED WITHOUT PAY AFTER ALLEGEDLY MASTURBATING IN HIS PATROL CAR

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  • Bill you couldn’t be more wrong. That video clip doesn’t tell the whole story. It’s a small excerpt and you can’t speculate without all the facts. The bottom line is that this family is innocent, I guarantee if you knew the whole story you would agree. They don’t deserve to be ridiculed by you just because they stood up for their rights.

    Wednesday, 13 July 2016, 1:33 am
  • Please tell me were in that short video it shows were the cops lied????? It clearly shown the scum bag kick the cop. I think that you think that if you just keep telling people that they lied and attach a video to it some may think it is true. I am not saying all cops are peffect but that video shows nothing, and since were are talking about no one being perfect hasn’t j defranco been arrested 5 + times for a young guys i think this proves he is a scum bad…. Lol note to entire family please move out of county.

    Tuesday, 12 July 2016, 12:16 pm
  • Tom I for one applaud U for having the integrity to report the facts to the public. I’m not pro cop or anti cop, I’m just an everyday citizen that likes to know the facts, whichever way they fall. Personally I find Ur courage to report this situation unbiasly, very refreshing. Most news sources are either totally one way or the other. Everyone should be gratefull that u bring the good and the bad both, to the public’s attention. As a good journalist should. It’s up to us the readers to take the information presented and form our own opinions.

    Thank u for a top notch news source. Didn’t intend to be long winded but with everyone taking sides and complaining, I just wanted to say good job. Thank u for keeping me informed.

    Monday, 11 July 2016, 11:04 pm
  • To “touched ” if you really wanna know what my plea deal is you can go on the clerks website and look it up. It’s public record. You will also find that my plea never changed from not guilty. But this story is not about me or how my case ended up. It’s about my fiance and his brother who were found not guilty by a jury on 6/15/2016 after a year of our lives being put through hell over a cops mistake. Which you clearly do not agree with so why comment and participate in stirring up drama.

    Monday, 11 July 2016, 7:10 pm
  • The cops were called to have him BAKER ACTED! Not arrested! No one was pressing charges. No one was asking for him to be arrested. He needed help and the cops arrested him. For what? Oh you can’t tell me? Oh for resisting arrest. Hmm. Okay. Obviously someone who needs to be baker acted is not going to want to be taken anywhere. Ignorant fucks. Cops in Hernando county need to be trained better, advised better, and if they do wrong they need to be punished harsher.

    Monday, 11 July 2016, 6:18 pm
  • law enforcement is called. They are not there to bring cake and cookies. They are not babysitters, licensed therapists, or registered nurses. They are there to enforce laws and take control of a scene, incident, or situation. Something to consider when passing judgement. They do the best they can with the resources they have. Always easy to sit on the side lines and yell, much harder to actually be involved.

    Monday, 11 July 2016, 6:02 pm
  • Eskimo boat. There were no laws broken. This was a baker act situation!!!!! They were untrained and inexperienced. They made bad calls that day and lied !!!!

    Monday, 11 July 2016, 3:39 pm
  • Thank you Elaina Nicole ! And yes the point of the story was to point out the lies told that day. These officers were called to baker act someone. Not to act the way they did and lie about it. The lies were pointed out with video proof. You are only seeing clips of what happened.

    Monday, 11 July 2016, 3:35 pm
  • Hey fishing boats hiring looking for head master baiter.Tom is not anti cop, and foot locker take someone off he didnt threaten anyone just stupid.

    Monday, 11 July 2016, 3:32 pm
  • Hey Fat *** Mgoo, what did your comment have to do with this article? You looking for attention?

    Monday, 11 July 2016, 3:10 pm
  • Hey Tom….Way to be just like the other media outlets and create a black lives matter situation in Hernando County, except it is White Trash Lives Matter. This is ridiculous that these scumbags were found not guilty by a corrupt judicial system. You are just trying to incite problems against local law enforcement by printing this story the way you did and I hope the Sheriff’s Department starts blocking you from their activities so that we wont be subject to your lopsided reporting.

    Monday, 11 July 2016, 1:30 pm
  • This is so ridiculous. The video shows you that he kicks an officer in the left leg. If he was cooperative they wouldn’t need to do all that to get him in the vehicle. Bare feet or not, you can’t kick an officer! So if I punch you in the face, as long as I don’t have shoes on, its ok? no that doesn’t make sense.
    I don’t appreciate these articles on the deputies, could you do their job better? I doubt it. You want chaos and crisis, continue this behavior and dismaying the authorities. If this was a Baker Act, then he was going to hurt himself or someone else….you have to make people safe and the video shows that being done. The cops did their jobs.
    Floyd Lemons, you seem to have an issue with the police? Or maybe when you were arrested this is your way of “revenge”. Its harassment of the sheriff dept. Are you going to get the dept’s statement or just make up stuff? You could be doing “good” with your ability and equipment but this just shows a new low.

    Monday, 11 July 2016, 11:15 am
  • Moral of the story… (apparently it needs explaining) when you break the law the cops don’t come to give you hugs. Fight it in court not with the cops.

    Monday, 11 July 2016, 11:04 am
  • Justice4all… maybe you should read my comment again. Smh.

    Monday, 11 July 2016, 10:54 am
  • The cop was clearly kicked. You see the guy’s leg go up and out towards the deputy’s leg. Just because it ends up out of screen doesn’t mean that it was “barely a kick”. If someone hits you with their heel on you shin or worse near the knee, it’s going to hurt. Especially if it hits you from the side or as you are putting weight on that leg, because it causes irregular movement/pressure on your joint, potentially in a direction that is unnatural. Not only that, but this is video is less than a minute long. I guarantee you this call lasted FAR LONGER than one minute. Why don’t you take into consideration that this is one tiny snippet of what really happened. Plus, this video was turned in by the defendants. They either got lucky and just happened to record this one minute video that they feel was in their favor – OR possibly recorded much longer and edited the rest out because it wasn’t the version of events they wanted to portray.
    On another point, if your sons are grown men who are clearly old enough to have a fiance, then let your grown sons handle their business themselves. There is no reason for you to get that close to the deputies to make things even more tense. Really?
    If he was so worried about his precious shoulders, then he should act like a man and stop fighting the deputies. They then would have no reason to put their hands on you other than to guide you — let alone drop you to the floor. What reason was there to even “defend yourself without deadly force” in the first place? That gets you no where. If you want to be hostile and combative, they deputies are going to react in the same manner, because it’s clear you will potentially cause harm their well-being.
    It’s this type of ignorance and hate that is getting cops killed all over the country for NO REASON. But you can’t blame all cops and perpetuate stereotypes just because of the negative actions of a few. If police are responding to an incident you are involved in, you expect respect and deserve the benefit of the doubt until you give them a reason otherwise. Why is it so easy for you to argue for YOUR rights, but fail to realize that not all cops are bad and feel the need to spread hate? Cops have rights, they too are still citizens and human beings.
    Just grow the F up. I assume everyone on here bashing the cops has a record or has family that has a record and just wants to blame everyone else for their F ups.
    NO ONE is perfect, not even cops. There is NO ONE who could go out to serve and put their life on the line without some arrogant piece of crap trying to slander them at some point. I’d like to see any one of you go out and put your life on the line and be 110% perfect every moment of everyday. I’m sure your tune would change real fast.

    Monday, 11 July 2016, 10:50 am
  • Fat *** pigs.

    Monday, 11 July 2016, 9:43 am
    • Tom you should ban this perrson

      Monday, 11 July 2016, 11:02 am
  • Hey matt…jerking off in your patrol car in public does not make a good cop…why don’t you try it…go park at the beacon theater and jerk off..see what happenes to you when someone reports it

    Monday, 11 July 2016, 9:05 am
  • It’s really quite disturbing that the cops can’t seem to get past their egos in this country. To the cop that masturbated in his patrol car– he shouldn’t be allowed to put his filthy hands on ANYONE! Disgusting! If a cop lies underoath, they should be stripped of their rights to “protect and serve”. I am so sick of hearing about innocent civilians being treated as animals by egotistical police just because they have a badge and a gun. I am a law abiding citizen, scared of cops like these. It’s a shame because there are so many good cops whose reputations are being ruined by rogue cops. Get over yourself, find another job and let the good cops do their job!

    Monday, 11 July 2016, 8:27 am
  • What happened to the promise that she would have all the deputy’s jobs when it’s all said and done?? I guess hiring those high priced Tampa Lawyers to ask such questions as to which leg was kicked was well worth it!!!! What was the plea deal for the girl friend?????

    Monday, 11 July 2016, 8:19 am
  • Cops lie ALL the time. The problem is no body cares until it happens to them. Flood the sheriff’s office with calls demanding truth and that lying cops be removed from duty.

    Monday, 11 July 2016, 8:05 am
  • This is an easy call comply! fight later in court if you feel unjustified in the arrest.

    Monday, 11 July 2016, 7:57 am
  • How narcissistic are you people? This story isn’t about white, black, educated or not. It is a news story…just the facts. Go get lives and quit making everything about you! Jerry is on at 3 today…go watch that for your drama.

    Monday, 11 July 2016, 7:12 am
  • Ive lived in Hernando county my while life. Hernando county police are the worst I’ve ever seen. You have some police that are always quick to say “Not my job – its a civil matter” or charge you with something even tho you didnt do it just because they can. Piss them off and your going to jail. I seen an officer arrest a woman just for saying he was an “a***ole”. I’ve even had a deputy tell me “If someone calls the cops, someones going to jail.” What happened to protect and serve? These cops only protect theirselves. I’ve seen police run rights without care. Turn on their lights just to run a red. Like every officer believes he’s above the law. I myself do not call police. I have arms and I will use them, period. Ive personally witnessed cases where it has taken police up to 45 minutes to arrive on scene, but if you notice in the picture above. There are 4 cop cars at one scene. Get your shit together Hernando County Sheriff Department, Cheif of Police is apart of the problem for not monitoring these police better than this. Where are their body camera? Live feed is possible. Law enforcement doesnt even follow the laws, their part of the problem not apart of the solution. Tell me this….. When is the last time you have seen a hernando county cop stoped to help an older lady or single mom with a flat tire?? (Dont worry.. Ill wait…………………) Ok, now how many times have you seen 2 to 4 police cruisers sitting together talking? While on the clock getting paid. Plz…ALOT!!!!!! Real police never let their tires stop on their cruisers unless their at red lights or assisting a citizen. #notleaders #notrueheartedcops #onlyforthebadge

    Get your head out of your ass! Go work off the badge at the gym. If a human is screaming in pain. Stop whatever your doing. Like??? Seriously?? And then lie on top of it all.. And you got time to masterate?? Like dude really?? Fire him!!!!!! Helllllooooo??? Isnt rocket science! S.m.h. we need a NEW “Cheif of Police ” it sounds like. #needchange #serveandprotect

    Monday, 11 July 2016, 6:11 am
    • people who use hashtags are the worst civilization has to offer

      Tuesday, 12 July 2016, 12:51 pm
  • Mascitelli the “BEAT” cop, always in the news! Be glad he didn’t go “hands-on” with you!

    Monday, 11 July 2016, 5:54 am
  • @matt Sounds like combative looking shoulders intimidate you! Maybe you and your buddy can go park somewhere and masturbate together watching the sunset.

    Monday, 11 July 2016, 5:51 am
  • OMG here is the IAM BLACK card being thrown in, call OBUMA and complain

    Monday, 11 July 2016, 4:59 am
  • Damn someone used google

    Sunday, 10 July 2016, 11:52 pm
  • No matter what happens **** his shoulders looks combative to me and for 18$ an hour I’d stick pepper spray you too. They arnt your baby sitter they are here to de-escalate or take you to jail no in between. Vinny is a great cop. You all are the same that were saying my buddy deserved to die on his bike when he had no wrong doing. **** your selves spring hill

    Sunday, 10 July 2016, 11:26 pm
    • little vinny is actually a crappy cop, but whatever

      Tuesday, 12 July 2016, 12:48 pm
  • I have bad feet.Don’t arrest me.If this guy was black you people would have wanted him shot.To you guys the cops are great until they arrest white guys.

    Sunday, 10 July 2016, 11:24 pm
  • And its a state statute not in the Constitution genius. Florida also has a state statute that states it’s illegal to sing in public while wearing a swimsuit. While I agree it was a minor kick not worth mention. Spreading nonsense that you can defend yourself against a cop with non lethal force could get someone shot. Youd have to be a complete moron to think thats a good idea. Cmon!

    Sunday, 10 July 2016, 11:23 pm
  • …and you do not have the right to “defend yourself against against the cops as long as you use non deadly force”. Thats pretty dumb to even think that’s an option or tell people it’s ok.

    Sunday, 10 July 2016, 11:08 pm
  • I guess you can’t read where it says you are justified in non deadly force in self defense. I guess you don’t believe in your constitutional rights. Also go read the transcripts for yourself before making an uneducated keyboard warrior comment.

    Sunday, 10 July 2016, 11:05 pm
  • OMG poor little deputy got a ‘slight’ kick in the leg with the bottom of a bare foot. Poor little BABY deputy, did you need crutches afterwards!? BIG CRYBABY!!!

    Sunday, 10 July 2016, 10:55 pm
  • Well people said that the masterbation cop was known to lie in reports…here is the proof..understand people this happens all the time here . I posted on here a year ago about this subject and how many cases are tossed out because they falsified reports.

    Sunday, 10 July 2016, 10:51 pm
  • He kicked him after screaming about his shoulders. This was a baker act call they lifted Joey up by his shoulders and continued to lift they lied and said jury would not walk than duval pepper sprayed Joey approx 2 inches from his face while holding him down in it. Also he was in handcuffs this was poor training and an abuse of authority.

    Sunday, 10 July 2016, 10:38 pm
  • Yeah… just watched the video. Clearly kicked the cop on the right.

    Sunday, 10 July 2016, 10:36 pm
    • @Eskimo boat – You are ‘incorrect’, he kicked him in the LEFT leg, NOT the right!

      Sunday, 10 July 2016, 11:10 pm
  • All while on the stand Mascitelli also says I kicked him -locke says he never seen me kick him as he was standing next to him. Locke originally says I was punching him the face then changes story to I could’ve been trying to get him off me also on the stand. My dad was never choking Joey and also mascitelli says my fiance pushed him on changes story to she pulled him off (someone who weight 150 pounds more than her). Take caution whenever calling 911 you don’t know who will show up. Thankfully we had video were dealing with some very stupid uneducated ignorant cops- state prosecution and we had good lawyers who actually kicked theyre asses in court.if not we wouldve been found guilty.

    Sunday, 10 July 2016, 10:27 pm
  • Thor- can you read? Or hear? Maybe your as deaf and dumb as the cops. You have rights to defend yourself against the police as long as you use non-deadly force and you don’t have to stand down to them. Maybe you went to school with the cops and have a low education level resulting in your stupid comment.

    Sunday, 10 July 2016, 10:21 pm
  • He kicked him 14 seconds in the video lol

    Sunday, 10 July 2016, 10:12 pm
  • Deputy masterbastion should lose his job? Lol … Thank god for the video and the jury we had to see the truth and past their lies

    Sunday, 10 July 2016, 9:40 pm
  • All cops lie, Camara show just the fact

    Sunday, 10 July 2016, 9:21 pm
    • another stupid remark by another loser in spring hill,get a job. burger king dont count

      Monday, 11 July 2016, 10:59 am

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