On July 27, 2012, Frederico Bruno used stolen keys to break into the apartment of his ex-girlfriend, Saydee Lee Figueroa. He entered the apartment and pushed her out of the third-story window while she held their three-month-old son, Damien, in her arms. The fall killed Damien and seriously injured Figueroa. A lawsuit filed by Figueroa alleges that the tragic event could have been prevented if the Jersey City police had taken more action, such serving Bruno with the restraining order filed days earlier.
According to NJ.com, Figueroa had called police a week prior to the attack, on July 20, claiming Bruno had attacked her while she held Damien in her arms. Police officers took her to the precinct to file a report and a warrant was issued for his arrest. Figueroa further claims that she pointed out Bruno on the street during the ride back and the officers did nothing, but the officers dispute this claim.
Four days later, Bruno again turned up at Figueroa’s apartment. Her roommate, Madelyn Calderon, would not let him in. Bruno stole a set of keys to the apartment and left. Figueroa called the police and was granted a temporary restraining order against Bruno the next day, but officers failed to check for an arrest warrant and take action.
The biggest missed opportunity came on July 26, when Bruno entered Jersey City’s Bergen Avenue police precinct to turn himself in. An internal affairs interview with Bruno in 2013 alleges that the desk officer told him to go to the courthouse. The desk officer claims Bruno refused to provide his name, which prohibited the officer from determining whether or not a warrant existed. A surveillance video shows Bruno leaving the precinct four minutes after arriving.
Bruno committed his deadly assault the next day. He was found guilty of murder and two counts of attempted murder in May 2015 and is currently serving a 113-year sentence.
The city claims it is has no liability in the attack. Officials insist that sheriff’s officers, not city cops, were required to serve Bruno with the restraining order. Moreover, they say there is no way to prove that serving Bruno with the restraining order would have prevented the brutal attack.
If you or a loved one needs legal assistance with restraining orders in New Jersey, contact an attorney right away. The lawyers of the Rosenblum Law Firm are prominent criminal defense attorneys with experience helping people in similar situations. Email the Rosenblum Law Firm or call 888-815-3649 for a free consultation about your case today.