In January of last year there was a highly publicized incident involving a few Olympic Heights students. One of them, James Cartigiano, was reported to have been accidentally shot in the head. Cartigiano was 16 at the time.
The Palm Beach Sheriff (PBSO) has now arrested and charged Saam Rajaei. Rajaei, now 18 and a student at Florida State, was 17 at the time and a student at Olympic Heights. Court papers and the blotter indicate his address on Madria Circle in the Escondido neighborhood.
While the earlier reports simply described an accidental shooting, the probable cause affidavit (see bottom) provides much greater detail as to what happened. The incident took place at the home of Jeffrey Zager on Sawpine Road in Delray Lakes Estates, just southwest of where Atlantic meets the Turnpike.
The teens were visiting Zager’s son Jordan. The affidavit notes that the Zager family moved out of state within weeks of the shooting. Jeffrey Zager is the CEO of Jewelry Purchasing & Loan Ltd, a Georgia company which operates as Chapes JPL and has or had an office in East Boca. It appears that the Zagers are now in the Atlanta area where JPL is based.
The affidavit indicates that Jordan Zager, his girlfriend and Rafaei were in the house initially. Zager and Rafaei were “dry firing” a revolver in Zager’s bedroom. Dry firing means the revolver was not loaded and they were pulling the trigger. Later Zager loaded the revolver and placed it in the kitchen. It appears that Rajaei thought the gun was still unloaded.
A lawsuit filed by the Cartigiano family alleges the revolver, a “38 special Smith & Wesson,” belonged to Jeffrey Zager.
Cartigiano came into the home some time after the dry firing, saw the revolver in the kitchen and picked it up. Rajaei then tried to take the gun away from Cartigiano and it went off, striking Cartigiano. Cartigiano died a few days later. There is at least some indication that Rajaei pulled the trigger.
From our read of the facts this appears to be a tenuous case at best. Rajaei did not know the gun was loaded and had reason to believe it was unloaded. While those trained in firearms safety know you always treat any gun as if it was loaded, there is no indication that either Rajaei or Cartigiano had such training.
With that in mind we recommend all parents show this video to their children (skip ahead to 2:30 if you’re impatient):
Portions of the probable cause affidavit are below. We have redacted the name of Zager’s then girlfriend. While she is now 18 and was in the home at the time, she was a minor then and it does not appear she was a witness to anything material.
Readers reported a raid this morning by the FBI (and/or a SWAT team) and one reader sent us the above photo. Multiple sources tell us the raid took place at the office of Wimbledon Health Partners, a company that does diagnostic testing of student athletes.
Our first tip came from a very reliable source:
Wimbledon Health [at] 7000 West Palmetto Park Road, Suite 205 was just raided. Looks like Wolf of Wall Street here. At least 50 FBI agents.
I spoke briefly with the company’s Chief Legal Counsel, Robert Grabemann, who works out of Chicago. He politely declined to answer any questions about the incident. He would not even admit or deny that anything took place (and I specifically asked that). The Miami FBI office has so far not responded to our inquiries and the Washington office told us we probably won’t get a response from them.
Readers were unsure what the company does. Their website says:
Wimbledon Health Partners has provided cardiovascular testing to over 151 schools nationwide to help prevent sudden cardiac arrest in student athletes—nearly 20,500 students tested, and counting!
Mitchell Rubin is listed on the company website as Founder and CEO. It is a common name but a “Mitchell Rubin” was named in an article about a lawsuit in Chicago involving Veridian Health.
The building is on the southwest corner of Palmetto Park Road and Powerline, near Olive Garden and McDonald’s. The same building has had some notoriety in the past for activities at a currently defunct nightclub including shootings. It otherwise seems to be a normal and even upscale office building.
Update from one source:
There was no SWAT team – just regular FBI agents and analysts to go through the computers and files in the office.
The reason you see FBI members on multiple floors in the picture sent in is because Wimbledon Health has offices on 2 floors.
The reason they had that amount of FBI agents was solely because of the number of employees. They needed to be able to assure no one destroyed files during the raid and the manage that many individuals needs a manageable ratio of employee to FBI agent.
To my knowledge, no one was arrested at the scene. There were a number of people questioned then let go. All that was seized were computers and files. The owner Mitchell Rubin was not present at the time of the FBI raid. His car was not in his reserved parking spot all day.
Second update: WPTV reports that this was a search warrant related to possible healthcare fraud. “Rubin says he is not aware of any allegations regarding healthcare fraud.”
Third update: We found a Complaint from a federal civil lawsuit in Chicago that appears to be against a “Mitchell E. Rubin”. We can’t confirm it’s the same guy.
The Broward Sheriff’s Office issued a press release regarding the arrest of a Sandalfoot woman from a fatal crash that occurred on Loxahatchee Road in Parkland back in May:
Broward Sheriff’s Office traffic homicide investigators have arrested a Boca Raton woman who killed her passenger in a single-vehicle crash on Mother’s Day in Parkland.
Laura Haggerty, 47, was taken into custody Sept. 30 with the help of the Palm Beach Sheriff’s Office. She faces two DUI/Manslaughter charges and one charge of vehicular homicide.
Around 4 p.m. May 8, Kelly Rider, 35, was a passenger in a Ford Explorer that was heading eastbound on Loxahatchee Road. Laura Haggerty was behind the wheel. Haggerty lost control of the vehicle near the 12200 block when her SUV drifted off the road. Haggerty overcorrected, causing the vehicle to veer across the roadway and collide with the guardrail on the north side of the street. The SUV then began to spin in a counterclockwise motion, before rolling over.
Rider, who wasn’t wearing a seatbelt, was ejected. Coral Springs Fire Department pronounced him dead at the scene. BSO Air Rescue transported Haggerty to Broward Health North.
According to BSO detectives, she was speeding and driving with a blood alcohol content of 0.25.
The BSO report indicates that both Haggery and Rider lived at the same address on Sailfish Road in Watergate Estates, just north of the west stretch of Sandalfoot Blvd.
Update: Broward Sheriff records indicate Holt was arrested for Grand Theft Auto. For now at least there are no charges indicating he caused the fatal accident.
Greg Holt, a globally ranked street skateboarder from Deerfield Beach, was arrested by the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office last night, just a few days after his 18th birthday.
A reader reported:
They arrested […] who is suspected in the hit and run in coconut creek on Saturday night that killed the single dad.
Coral Springs Talk reported that police were searching for a male approximately 18 years of age from that incident. Charlie Ruiz (39) was killed in the accident.
We have reached out to PBSO and Coral Springs police to verify if Holt was arrested because of this incident. And we remind our readers that arrestees are innocent until proven guilty.
Holt is well known in the skating community, with over 10,000 followers on Instagram though the posts are restricted to approved followers.
His Facebook profile is full of skating images and videos.
Update – Further comment from reader:
This was Greg Holt and [we were ] there with him … as the cops had surrounded them as they pulled into the store to get a pizza. We where all held for about 3 hours. … it was Gregs 18th bday and he was coming to see […] after being at the coconut creek party when he flipped the car and killed the vehicle that was hit head on. This is such a tragic situation for all involved. He’s a good kid who had a bright future ahead of him and now it will most likely be spent In prison for the next 20 years. I just keep thinking this could’ve been any of us when we were young. Please keep all families involved in your prayers.
We would predict a prison sentence of 10 years with him getting out in roughly 8 years. It also may be difficult for prosecutors to prove Holt was the driver, that the accident was his fault, and that he has criminal culpability for it (as in the Stracar decision). However, leaving the scene of an injury accident may be easier to prove and that is still potential prison time.
The Palm Beach Sheriff’s Office arrested Hunter Brett (19) on two counts of car burglary. The arrest happened on Tuesday the 23rd. Brett is a former student of Olympic Heights High School.
On August 15th a reader forwarded us this video showing the car burglaries as they happened:
We posted the video on our Facebook page and commenters helped identify Brett as the likely burglar.
We reached out to the victim in this incident, who said the following:
We are grateful to the West Boca News and its readers for their help in catching this criminal. Let this be a lesson to other criminals that this is a tight knit community and we look out for each other.
Mr. Brett has developed a substantial court history in his short time as an adult. We don’t know what charges he may have faced as a juvenile. What we can see started in December of 2015 with two felony burglary counts and two misdemeanor counts. He was released on $6000 bond (usually meaning someone pays $600 to a bondsman).
While that was pending he was arrested in February in Broward facing five different counts including a first degree felony aggravated battery on a police officer, a felony resisting with violence and two drug felonies. He was released on $11,000 bond ($1100 to a bondsman).
For some reason we cannot explain, the pending burglary felonies in Palm Beach County were then resolved with “pre-trial diversion” which is usually a favorable result for a defendant – no jail time and a relatively clean record.
In June he was arrested again on drug charges, at least one of which was a felony. He was released on $5000 bond ($500 to a bondsman).
Now he’s been arrested for a fourth time. It’s not completely clear from the court records but we think bond was set at $23,000 this afternoon.
The last address we have for Mr. Brett is in the Lakes at Boca Raton (north of Yamato near Cain). He is being represented by public defenders on all the cases mentioned. For the first burglary case it appears he was rejected from the diversion program in August and the case has been reopened.
At this writing he remains in custody. Perhaps he will get out and resume visiting area cars again soon. Of course he is innocent until proven guilty. But since it seems likely that he will be doing significant state prison time, some might wonder why they keep letting him out. This soft approach to bail is commonplace in South Florida but unusual in other parts of the state.
The Palm Beach Sheriff announced today that they have arrested Gary Pierre (aka Garry Pierre) for the murder of Christo “Sto” Maccius.
We previously reported that Maccius, a West Boca High teacher and alumnus, was shot and killed in Sandalfoot Square.
Pierre has a lengthy criminal history in both Palm Beach and Broward including three felony arrests in Palm Beach. In 2012 he was arrested for robbery with a weapon. That charge was dropped by prosecutors. In 2007 and 2009 he faced felony drug charges. Broward courts show multiple drug felonies along with a grand theft charge. Those are just the felonies. He has also had several misdemeanor cases, criminal traffic cases and traffic violations.
The most recent address we see for Pierre is in Coral Springs. We have seen other addresses for him in North Broward as well as in Sandalfoot Cove near Boca Dunes.
Multiple sources and our own research tell us that the shooting victim from this morning was Christo Maccius (25), a West Boca High graduate. Three sources told us that he worked at the school, with one providing more detail:
He was a substitute and shadow for children with special needs.
The shooting happened in or near the Sandalfoot Square plaza and O’Connor’s Pub. The Palm Beach Post has ongoing updates on the story, including resident concerns about high crime and a report that the shooter had a long-standing grudge against Maccius.
Last year we reported on another shooting at or near the same location.
All photos are from Facebook messages, comments, or pages.
From what we can see on Facebook and other sources Maccius had many friends in the community, and will be missed.
We reached out to both PBSO and the school for more information but so far have not received any response. As of this moment we believe the shooter has not been caught. We do not have any identity yet either.
Warning: The photo below may be disturbing to some readers. Do not scroll down if you are sensitive to such things.
And please note that many of the negative comments posted on this article (below) appear to be “trolling.” Some have been deleted and/or blocked from future comments.
Traffic on US-441 was blocked from Glades to Yamato this morning after a serious accident near Kimberly Road. Hector Mauricio Mazariegos (age 31, Coral Springs) was arrested and charged with several offenses.
According to the Sheriff’s report:
P-1 (the deputy) was working a traffic enforcement operation on State Road 7 just south of Kimberly Blvd with several other deputies. P-1 obtained a speed reading of 97 mph on V-1 (Mazariegos on the motorcycle) in a 45 mph zone.
P-1 stepped into the center lane, faced southbound and was waving V-1 over. According to witnesses the deputy had been out in the roadway for more than enough time for the rider to see him and stop. The deputy was wearing a neon green reflective vest at the time. V-1 slowed and tried to drive around P-1, but at the same time P-1 feared V-1 was going to run him over and moved slightly to his right.
V-1 impacted with the deputy, then made a heavy brake applicated (leaving a lengthy skid mark) and overturned. V-1 slid to final rest at Kimberly Blvd.
Mr. Mazariegos has quite a history in the courts, as explained below the scene photos.
By our count, Mazariegos has had 9 traffic cases (7 of them criminal) in Broward County dating back to 2007:
He also was arrested in 2015 in Palm Beach County for driving without a valid license. Despite his lengthy history, that charge was resolved with a fine and “adjudication withheld.”
Similar to a case we reported last year, the prosecutors and courts in Palm Beach and Broward County seem to have a policy of going easy on serious repeat traffic offenders. In the previous incident three young males were badly injured. Now it’s a deputy taking the hit.
State Attorney Dave Aronberg is running unopposed in this year’s election so we can expect another four years of lax enforcement. Mr. Mazariegos has probably run out of luck.
PBSO reports the charges against Mazariegos as:
- Reckless Driving resulting in serious bodily injury
- No Driver’s License causing serious bodily injury
- Driving without a motorcycle endorsement
- Driving an unregistered vehicle
- Attaching an unassigned tag to a vehicle
Mazariegos’ Facebook page indicates he works (or worked) for Fit Foodz Cafe, which is on Clint Moore near 441.
Yesterday on our Facebook page we posted about a pizza delivery guy robbed in the Timberwalk section of Loggers’ Run. The victim, Brandon Ramineh, responded to the post with details:
Pulled up to a delivery (which was obviously fake) and noticed a guy walking away from my car on the phone. I thought nothing of it. Got out of my car and as I turned to get the pizza out of my trunk I notice two African American guys walking up behind me in hoodies. Couldn’t do anything. Grabbed me by my neck, pushed me into the ground with a gun jammed into my back. The other guy reached into my pockets and stole my phone, wallet, keys and all my cash from work. They hopped in my car and floored it off (in manual mode in 1st gear like morons).
I heard they found the car at like 3AM a few miles away, but no one has contacted me yet.
To his credit, Mr. Ramineh seems to have recovered well from the incident and is in good spirits as best we can tell.
We contacted PBSO to see what they could tell us but they have not responded.
Update: PBSO did respond.
On Monday, June 6, 2016, at 11 pm, the victim was delivering pizza for Papa John’s to the 22000 block of Timberly Drive, Boca Raton. The victim parked his vehicle at the bottom of the driveway when he was approached by a black male from behind and placed into a choke hold and told not to move and lay face down. The black male suspect removed his keys from his pocket and three black males, all wearing hoodies, entered the vehicle and fled.
In a more serious incident, Jacob Cerney Walsh of Jupiter was shot and killed last night in an “apparent drug deal” in the San Marco community on Military Trail north of Yamato. Walsh was 25 years old.
Boca PD reports:
On Tuesday, June 7 at 12:17 a.m., Boca Raton Police officers responded to a report of a male who was shot at the San Marco Apartments, 5507 North Military Trail. Arriving officers located the shooting victim, Jacob Walsh, and provided medical attention until Boca Raton Fire Rescue personnel arrived and transported Walsh to Delray Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead. Boca Raton detectives interviewed numerous witnesses, including people who live in the apartment complex.
There is evidence to indicate that Walsh was involved in a drug transaction when he was shot. The investigation is on-going and if anyone has information about this crime, please call Detective Lazarus Kimsal at (561) 620-6144 or Palm Beach County Crime Stoppers at (800) 458-TIPS.
Mr. Walsh had an extensive history in the Palm Beach court system, mostly traffic offenses but also including three felony arrests. The most recent felony case was still open from Palm Beach Gardens with counts for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and carrying a concealed firearm.
WARNING: Some of the photos may be unpleasant or offensive to some readers.
IF YOU ARE LIKELY TO BE OFFENDED OR DISTURBED.
The Yamato Road entrance to South County Regional Park was effectively closed Wednesday around noon for over an hour after a dead body was found. Sheriff’s deputies and investigators surrounded the area with crime scene tape.
Many people are asking – We do not know the name of the victim and we do not expect PBSO to tell us.
The body was found on the east side of the road in front of a black car. You can see detectives near the body on the right side of the photo below.
The next photo shows the scene before the minivan arrived. The body was in front of the black sedan which we believe was his car.
At the time we were first notified about the incident, we did not know what the cause of death was. We arrived on the scene and notified the public of the situation by posting this video on our Facebook page:
Later we learned that the investigators determined it was a suicide. We do not normally report on suicides, but when it blocks a road or otherwise creates a scene and disturbance in the general public, we feel it is our duty to follow up and inform our readers as to what happened.
We also had an unpleasant encounter with Detective Amanda Pfeifle who did not like us taking pictures. She abused her power, expanding the crime scene tape to interfere with journalism. It didn’t work.
For the commenters who claim I was interfering with the investigation, that’s nonsense. I was far away, staying out of the way, taking pictures. They did absolutely ZERO investigation inside the area of the expanded crime scene after they moved me. I was on the scene until they starting taking the tape down. Detective Pfeifle did this only to interfere with a journalist. They had no reason to stop doing their jobs to bother me. Police abuse of journalists is a longstanding problem in the US, documented extensively by Photography is Not a Crime.
After a subsequent and somewhat more polite request from Detective Brian Allison, we held off on publishing this article for 24 hours to allow next of kin to be notified.
Now at this point, we must remind you again:
The photos below may be particularly disturbing or offensive to some. If you think that might be you, stop now. Do not read any further.
PBSO investigators and other staff working on the scene, with the body on the ground beyond them.
The body was removed by staff in the minivan mentioned earlier.
It gets worse. Again, do not scroll down if these might bother or offend you. We have blurred certain features.
The body was in front of what appears to be a fairly new black sedan, possibly an Infiniti Q50. Update – A reader tells us it is a first generation Hyundai Genesis (years 2009-2014).
And these are closer shots showing the body.
And the following photos were sent to us by Juliette Falcone, who was on the scene before we were.