Teen Skater Arrested in West Boca for Broward Hit and Run?

Greg Holt mugshot from PBSO
Greg Holt mugshot from PBSO

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.
gregholtblotter
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.

Charlie Ruiz and his daughter; photo from Coral Springs PD
Charlie Ruiz and his daughter; photo from Coral Springs PD

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.
Photo from Holt's Facebook page.
Photo from Holt’s Facebook page.

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.

Hit-and-Run DUI for Boca Del Mar Resident

Galen Kinsey of Boca Del Mar
Galen Kinsey of Boca Del Mar

PBSO deputies arrested Galen Kinsey (27) Sunday night after a hit-and-run accident. Mr. Kinsey stands accused of several offenses including driving while suspended, DUI, hit and run with property damage, and a probation violation. His reported address is in Boca Del Mar near the Boca Raton Synagogue.
Mr. Kinsey previously appeared in West Boca News in February of 2014 for drug charges, where we detailed some of his criminal history.

Court records for Palm Beach show a 2012 felony that was resolved with pre-trial diversion. Broward records show a few cases including two disposed with probation. One of the previous cases also involved drugs.

Kinsey has managed to add a bit to that since then. In July of last year he was arrested on felony charges of burglary and grand theft dating back to a 2013 incident that may have involved the Apple store at Town Center Mall. The burglary charge was dropped and he was convicted of grand theft. For that he was sentenced to a year of probation, a violation of which has been triggered by the new arrest.
Kinsey also had two other criminal traffic cases in October and December. The October case was for leaving the scene of a property damage accident. He was convicted of that and paid fines but had no other consequences. Then in December he was charged with driving while suspended or revoked. That case is still open. He didn’t show up for court and a warrant was issued for his arrest in January. He’s had driving while suspended charges in Broward as well.
This history of repeated arrests for hit-and-run and for driving while suspended with little or no consequences should remind readers of the Brett Knowles case we’ve been following. State Attorney Aronberg has been persistent and willful in letting these offenders off, sending the wrong message to bad drivers in our community. Kinsey is yet another in a long list of people who have been repeatedly let off light and then continue to break the law putting us all in danger.

State Attorney Stalls on Hit-and-Run

aronberg-knowles
Dave Aronberg (above left), the State Attorney for Palm Beach County is stalling on a hit-and-run case involving alleged driver Brett Knowles (right, 30) of Boca Isles North. We spoke with Natalie Cruz and Mike Edmonson from Aronberg’s office. So far they have refused to provide any documents or answer any substantive questions about the case.
Back in September there was a serious car accident on 441 in front of West Boca Medical Center (across from Target) where three pedestrians were hit by a driver who then fled the scene. We reported on the accident at the time and followed up in October regarding the fact that the alleged driver had not been charged yet.
After 60 days the Sheriff sent us a copy of the crash report, which is at the bottom of this article. One brief excerpt from it is below:
knowles-report-1
The Sheriff also provided a narrative from one of deputies or investigators. The full narrative is at bottom, but here are some key excerpts:

Upon arrival to XXXXX Preserve Drive. I observed a Brown Nissan Murano with major front end damage baring FL tag XXXXXX to be properly parked in the driveway of the above listed residence. The vehicle damage appeared to be consistent with injuries sustained by the victims. The hood had sustained major damage in the center and had a direct impact point crack in the windshield that was consistent with the size of the victims head …
While at the residence, Brett began to make excited utterance statements to me stating that “he was going to come back, and he just wanted to tell his parents what he did.” He then made another statement to me stating that “he was driving the vehicle and he wants to know if everyone is alive and ok.” These statements were all made without any questions being asked. …
Based on the aforementioned to include the utterance and unprovoked admissions made by Brett Knowles, witness statements, severity of injuries and evidence left at the scene of the crash, probable cause exists that Knowles was the driver … at the time of the crash. Knowles is therefore being charged with three counts of leaving the scene of a traffic crash with injuries …. It should be noted that two of the pedestrians … had sustained serious bodily injuries each as a result of the collision. Knowles is also being charged with one count for driving with a suspended license with knowledge ….
This case will be forwarded to the Palm Beach County State’s Attorneys Office for further review.

In short it appears that the Sheriff provided sufficient evidence for the State Attorney to go forward with prosecution. But no charges have been filed yet well over two months later.
We previously pointed out that Mr. Knowles has a substantial history in the courts with over 40 cases including multiple charges for driving with a suspended license. The State Attorney and Sheriff have allowed his repeat offenses to be filed as first offenses, reducing the consequences Mr. Knowles would have faced. Aronberg’s spokesman, Edmonson, refused to comment on that.
Edmonson and Cruz refused to provide us with any documents from the case claiming that it’s “an active investigation”, which is an exception to Florida’s Sunshine Laws. This struck us as odd since it appears PBSO completed its investigation well over a month before our conversation, but they stood by that refusal.
We also previously covered Mr. Knowles joking about “leaving the scene” on Facebook:
knowles-gecko
That is something prosecutors could potentially use as a further admission.
Shortly after making that joke, Mr. Knowles was yet again ticketed on October 23rd for driving with a suspended license. Yet again it was not treated as a repeat offense. And as we see so frequently, the prosecutors dropped the charges.
It should be apparent to our readers that Mr. Knowles likely continues to drive on our roads. State Attorney Aronberg appears unconcerned about the threat that poses to the residents of West Boca and the rest of the county and South Florida.
We contacted the State Attorney again today to see if they have any further comment. So far we have received no response.


Crash report:
[gview file=”http://westbocanews.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/14121902-Crash-Report.pdf”]
PBSO Narrative:

I responded to the residence of 19424 Preserve Drive in unincorporated Boca Raton, Palm Beach County, Florida in regards an investigation involving a hit and run traffic crash with injuries. I was notified by Palm Beach County Sheriffs Office dispatch that they received a 911 phone call from witness, later identified as XXXXXX stating a Nissan Murano baring Florida tag “941VJN” had hit three pedestrians on the side of the roadway. This incident occurred in the area of 21644 South State Road 7, which is located just south of Glades Road. It was discovered that the vehicle that was seen leaving the crash scene had a registration address of 19424 Preserve Drive. Boca Raton, FL. 33498.
Upon arrival to 19424 Preserve Drive. I observed a Brown Nissan Murano with major front end damage baring FL tag “941VJN” to be properly parked in the driveway of the above listed residence. The vehicle damage appeared to be consistent with injuries sustained by the victims. The hood had sustained major damage in the center and had a direct impact point crack in the windshield that was consistent with the size of the victims head, showing were the victim Victor Carneiro Brito’s head was struck. While outside the residence, I could hear three subjects arguing while walking exiting the front door of the residence. When I walked over to the front door, I observed a white male later identified as Brett Knowles to be wearing a white tee shirt with shorts and no shoes arguing with his mother. Knowles was identified verbally, and was not the registered owner of the vehicle.
While at the residence, Brett began to make excited utterance statements to me stating that “he was going to come back, and he just wanted to tell his parents what he did.” He then made another statement to me stating that “he was driving the vehicle and he wants to know if everyone is alive and ok.” These statements were all made without any questions being asked. I detained Brett by placing him into handcuffs which were checked for proper fitting and double locked. Photographs of the scene were taken by Investigator Robert Stephan (ID 7240) of the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office Vehicle Homicide Investigations Unit. The crash investigation report was conducted by Deputy Sheriff Terry Drake (ID 5310) of the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office.
I then read Brett his Miranda warnings which he understood but did not want to talk to me. After conducting my investigation at the residence Brett was taken out of hand cuffs and release on scene.
Sworn written statements were also provided by witnesses to include, XXXXXXXX. XXXXXXX had observed the traffic crash in front of her and observed the Nissan/ Morano leave the scene. XXXXXXXX called 911 and provided PBSO dispatch with pertinent information to include the vehicle make, model and tag. See sworn statement for further.
On September 30, 2014, Investigator Ken Noel (ID 7660) of the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office DUI Enforcement Unit and I met with Marco Barreto, who was one of three victims from the hit and run traffic crash. While at Marco’s residence, with his mother present, a taped and a written statement were provided about what had happened on the night of September 19, 2014. Marco told me that he was skateboarding to the Shadowood Movie Plaza located at Glades Road and State Road 7 with two other friends Daniel Palmer and Victor Carneiro Brito. He said they were traveling from SW 3rd Street heading north on State Road 7, in unincorporated Boca Raton, Florida. He then said they were just about north of Palmetto Park Road when they decided to walk the rest of the way. Marco told me that while they were walking he heard tires screeching, and when he looked backwards he saw really bright headlights. He then stated that he was then struck by the vehicle and was impacted so hard he went flying in the air and landed on his back in about the middle lane of State Road 7. During the interview, Marco stated that as a result of the crash he had a broken right femur, broken nose, broken right ring finger, and multiple road rash injuries on his entire body. Finally Marco ended the interview by saying that due to this incident his dreams of joining the United States Army have been dismantled. Due to the traumatic injuries he sustained, Marco will no longer be able to join the military. Attempts to interview Brito and Palmer were made on several attempts; however, yielded with negative results.
Based on the aforementioned to include the utterance and unprovoked admissions made by Brett Knowles, witness statements, severity of injuries and evidence left at the scene of the crash, probable cause exists that Knowles was the driver of the Nissan/ Murano at the time of the crash. Knowles is therefore being charged with three counts of leaving the scene of a traffic crash with injuries F.S.S. 316.027(1)(A). It should be noted that two of the pedestrians, Barreto and Brito had sustained serious bodily injuries each as a result of the collision. Knowles is also being charged with one count for driving with a suspended license with knowledge F.S.S. 322.34(2). This case will be forwarded to the Palm Beach County State’s Attorneys Office for further review.

Hit and Run in West Boca

A reader tipped us off to a hit-and-run accident near Boca West. Apparently a white Cadillac SUV rear-ended a Nissan Altima while headed west on Glades Road last night. The male driver then left the scene before police could arrive.
Here’s a photo of the message that was forwarded to us with a picture of the Altima’s crumpled rear.
hit-run-west-boca
And we were also sent a picture of the Cadillac as it was leaving. From this shot it looks more like an Escalade but it could be an SRX.
hit-run-cadillac-west-boca
If anyone has any information please let us know and we’ll forward to the driver of the Altima. Or, of course, you can contact the Sheriff. Given the location we’re not sure if this counts as within the city as the city line runs along Glades in this area.