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Deputies Attacked MMA Style, Attempting to Break Up Domestic Dispute

BROOKSVILLE – Last night around 7:30 p.m. RNRF received reports of a physical altercation involving Sheriff’s Deputies, at a residence on Stardust Way.

Officials just released the following report describing the chaotic incident.

On 06-14-15 at approximately 7:40 p.m., Hernando County deputies responded to 8372 Stardust Way in Brooksville regarding a man, later identified as Joseph DeFranco, swinging a wrench and causing a physical disturbance with several members of his family.

While enroute, deputies were advised by the dispatcher that DeFranco’s family members (father Salvatore, brother Salvatore Jr., and brother Anthony) were holding Joseph DeFranco down on the ground.

Upon arrival, deputies were met by a female, Georgette DeFranco (Joseph DeFranco’s mother and Salvatore Sr.’s wife).  She advised another female, Vanessa, that “the cops are here.”  Vanessa proceeded to advise Sal Sr., Sal Jr., Anthony and Joseph that “the cops are here.”

Georgette then advised the deputies that her son Joseph was currently being held down by his father and brothers.  As the deputies approached the area of the yard where this was occurring, they observed Sal Sr. holding his son in a very tight chokehold.  It appeared that Joseph’s face was turning purple.  It appeared that Sal Jr., and Anthony were also trying to restrain Joseph but were not assisting with the chokehold.

The deputies requested numerous times for everyone to calm down and disengage, to no avail.

Deputies attempted to loosen the grip that Sal Sr. had on Joseph so he could breathe.  At that time, Sal Jr. began to throw punches at the deputies.  While the deputies were attempting to restrain Sal Jr., he began utilizing his Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) fighting techniques on both of them, kicking one deputy in the abdomen and the other in the thighs.  In order to gain control of the suspect, a deputy deployed his agency issued Taser, making contact with Sal Jr.  At this time, Vanessa Steiger (Sal Jr.’s girlfriend) pushed the deputy backwards, grabbed both of the Taser lines and snapped them, causing the connection to the irate Sal Jr. to disconnect.

As the deputy was reloading his tazer, Georgette DeFranco rushed him, advising “It’s all your fault, I’ll have your F***ing job… You caused this.”

As deputies continued to attempt to free Joseph from the chokehold that Sal Sr. and Anthony were holding him in, even Joseph was kicking and flopping, hitting both deputies with his arms and feet in an attempt to injure them.  Soon, deputies were able to remove Anthony from the altercation.


As deputies attempted to handcuff Joseph, he became even more combative, refusing to remove his hands from underneath his body.  As deputies escorted a handcuffed Joseph to a marked patrol car, he continued to kick and flail around, kicking a deputy in the knee, causing injury.  The deputy deployed Oleoresin Capsicum (OC) spray.  Joseph then began to comply.

Sal Sr., Georgette, and Anthony continued to scream profanities at the deputies.

Fire/Rescue was called to the scene to decontaminate Joseph due to OC spray and to evaluate the deputy that received an injury.

Vanessa Steiger was cooperative with deputies and provided a sworn written statement.

Anthony DeFranco also provided a sworn written statement.

All other parties were uncooperative with law enforcement.

The following individuals were arrested on scene and charged as follows:

–    Vanessa Steiger W/F DOB/08-21-1994

o    Battery on LEO

o    Resist w/o Violence

o    Bond – $6,000

–    Joseph Alexander DeFranco W/M DOB/04-18-1997

o    Battery on LEO (3 counts)

o    Resist w Violence (2 counts)

o    Bond – $25,000

–    Salvatore Joseph DeFranco W/M DOB/02-03-1991

o    Battery on LEO (2 counts)

o    Resist w Violence (2 counts)

o    Bond – $20,000.

RNRF observed Joseph DeFranco being led away by fire rescue personnel to an awaiting ambulance for treatment.

Neighbors say there are always problems at the residence, including late night gun fire and loud drunken parties. One neighbor, who wished to remain anonymous, said she was nearly struck by a ricocheting bullet, fired from the residence.

Neighbors are hopeful that this incident may put a stop to the mayhem.

This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. ™2013 – 2015 Real News Real Fast, Inc.

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  • I’m not nuts. I’m sure you’re jealous bc my family doesn’t need your help, maybe you should put up another gofundme page to get weight loss surgery ?

    Sunday, 10 July 2016, 11:08 pm
  • No one cares about your crap-*** rentals. Your entire hillbilly family should head north.

    Sunday, 10 July 2016, 10:39 pm
  • Can’t wait to read the retractment story on this article filled with typical one side cop lies. The cops, deputies, and higher ups should be embarrassed. Thank gawd the incident was caught on tape. Thank gawd I didn’t have to bury my brothers because some hot headed, untrained, immature county cops were called out for help. Instead decided to act like power hungry animals and look like the real total scumbags you all wanted to call my family. I bet you don’t realize that I personally OWN several rental properties in Brooksville, and I have several large tattoos, so that doesn’t make you a dirt bag. I collect rent money 2x a month, just give my brothers some time a bit several of you will be begging to live in their rental houses. My family has a long term plan, so no my brothers won’t be long term renters and have a ***** lives because we’re going to stick together like we have for the past year of living a questionable future, and build an empire of rental properties turning it into a real estate empire. It’s just began for these boys, they are young and have the entire world at their fingertips. These dirty cops and the system showed them the truth about the brothers in blue, but their family showed them we will do anything for each other. I’m grateful for the Hernando county jurors sticking up for humanity and justice. Thank you. Prayers were sent my families direction and now we will stick together, and not let anything hold my family down. I’m proud of my brothers, my parents, and not one person can convince me otherwise.

    Sunday, 10 July 2016, 1:34 am
  • Can’t blame the story being ran they were statements given by corrupt officers.and yes thanks to the jury members listening and taking notes and seeing the truth in this case. Internal affairs won’t even look into this hopefully a follow story will change that.

    Wednesday, 22 June 2016, 7:46 pm

    Sunday, 19 June 2016, 7:21 pm
  • I was there! I know what happened!

    Sunday, 19 June 2016, 6:54 pm
  • Funny that tom lemon has the real story for his real news real fast but won’t print it. The officers were wrong this was a suicide threat and cops cause the entire thing! Their inexperience and lack of training was the cause of this. A family called for help. Officers lied to cover up the police brutality and excessive force. They were caught lying because of a video which does not have family members cursing at cops. The one sided story is completely untrue Way to go rnrf. You should check both sides before printing such garbage. Ps parents were not arrested because they are the ones who called for HELP!!!!!! Officers also were aware that is was a suicide threat. Came in like Rambo !!!! Video when u call cops. They can’t lie than

    Sunday, 19 June 2016, 4:31 pm
  • Before commenting on stories on this page maybe both sides should be heard. The brothers in this story were found innocent on all charges. The comments that were made were made without knowing the whole story. It’s sad that just because cops were involved that people think they are right wellllll guess what. They were completely wrong …. Thank you to the Hernando jury that saw thru all the lies … There was a video that proved what happened … When your involved in anything like this VIDEO it!!!!!!!

    Thursday, 16 June 2016, 10:33 pm
  • They were found not guilty on all counts. The cops involved were caught lieing in court on multiple occasions and if the justice system was fair they should now be brought up on charges for lieing. Vincent mascitelli,Gregory locke,and Shawn Duvall.

    Wednesday, 15 June 2016, 7:11 pm
    • Congratulations on beating the corruption – liars always get caught – Charges against the 3 corrupt cops should be excessive force – civil rights violations – perjury – corruption and they should be fired!!!! weed out the corruption Sheriff N. – these 3 inexperienced deputies give the HCSO a bad name get rid of them along with the lying State Atty’s

      Thursday, 16 June 2016, 1:00 pm
  • Look at y’all, judging on tattoos and race. Just because he has a chest tattoo and he’s Italian doesn’t mean nothing. All family’s have there problems, and we’re not all perfect. Unless you were there, then you don’t even know what happened for sure. Not saying they were right, I’m just saying y’all are judging people you don’t know. Btw I do know Joseph and he’s a really good kid, he just don’t think before he does sometime.

    Thursday, 2 July 2015, 2:45 am
  • Not one thing in this story has any truth behind it that’s why the actual new stopped playing it. Nice story though real exciting

    Sunday, 21 June 2015, 9:19 am
  • Tabloid news article

    Sunday, 21 June 2015, 9:06 am
  • Wanna be thugs

    Tuesday, 16 June 2015, 9:21 pm
  • LOL!!! Big loud,obnoxious Italian family,what do you expect?? No surprise there.LOL!!!!

    Tuesday, 16 June 2015, 6:34 pm
  • Dumb, Dumber and Dumbest, all 6 of them!!!
    And I think all SIX of them SHOULD HAVE BEEN ARRESTED
    to LEO COMMANDS!!!!!!

    HC jail IS running out of space with so many CRIMINALS
    being ARRESTED

    GREAT JOB to the credit of the HCSO!! You get a THUMBS
    UP from this Law Abiding Citizen! 🙂

    I give our Sheriff N. credit for doing the best he can to clean up
    what was once our wonderful community! 🙂

    Tuesday, 16 June 2015, 6:12 pm
  • G- says just another wanna-be Hernando county “hotshot”.

    Tuesday, 16 June 2015, 5:18 pm
  • Wanna be mma fighter….nothing to see here…please more along…

    Tuesday, 16 June 2015, 10:44 am
  • 1 for the mma fighter, mess with trailer trash and I’ll thow down MMA Style. Now how do I get out of this mess.

    Tuesday, 16 June 2015, 4:32 am
  • I started thinking “douchebag” as soon as I saw his lame ass chest tattoos.

    Tuesday, 16 June 2015, 12:44 am
  • should be taking him into the police car not the boo boo bus hes not injured!

    Monday, 15 June 2015, 9:55 pm
  • Not for nothing, if you don’t know the facts, keep your crap to yourself!

    Monday, 15 June 2015, 9:51 pm
  • Should’ve just let them all kill each other! Idiots!

    Monday, 15 June 2015, 9:28 pm
    • What a life…. Chaotic misadventures. No direction. Ego driven confusion, loud music and fighting. Inspired by the MMA, WWE and Mortal Combat video games. They are going to blink and be in their late 40s with nothing but arrest records. Divorces. Failed jobs and child support. Facial tattoos, food stamps and beater cars. Living in rentals or with friends asking themselves “What the hell happened to my life?”
      Squandered. Get away from each other. Grow up. Go to school. This is such a waste of life.

      Thursday, 18 June 2015, 12:36 pm
  • Good job boys sounds like the neighbors have had enough them too

    Monday, 15 June 2015, 7:46 pm
  • Why weren’t mom and dad arrested?

    Monday, 15 June 2015, 7:38 pm
  • Another criminal being squeezed into the Hernando County Jail, How can one County have so many criminals, and Spring Hill sounded like such a nice place to move too

    Monday, 15 June 2015, 6:36 pm
    • Exactly, what the hell did I move into?

      Wednesday, 17 June 2015, 7:51 pm
  • A bunch of losers ! Keep them

    Monday, 15 June 2015, 5:44 pm
  • Mom an Dad blaming everyone else for there stupidity, one the kids on felony probation a.bbs still around guns.

    Monday, 15 June 2015, 5:19 pm

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