RIVIERA BEACH, Fla. - Nearly a year and a half after six were killed in one of the most horrific crimes in Riviera Beach history, the father of one of the victims has filed a lawsuit against the city of Riviera Beach and the Department of Children and Families.
On September 27th, 2010, 11-year-old Javon Nelson, his three siblings, and his mother were gunned down by their estranged stepfather Patrick Dell before he turned the gun on himself.
Leroy Nelson, Javon's father, has been living a life of pain and anguish since that day, according to a lawsuit his attorneys filed on January 27th, 2012.
The lawsuit alleges that neither the city of Riviera Beach nor the state did enough to protect his son.
The suit cites 34 separate police calls from the home of Natasha Whyte-Dell, the boy's mother, which served as evidence of violence at the home.
Despite evidence of the violence, the suit claims the Riviera Beach Police Department did nothing.
One specific incident mentioned is a time Dell charged at Natasha with a knife screaming, 'Your family is going to cry today,' and, 'You will be going to the morgue.'
That incident landed Dell in jail and prompted DCF to open an investigation; An investigation which the suit claims was "woefully inadequate."
Nelson's suit alleges DCF failed to contact the police officer in that incident, failed to follow up on other domestic calls and failed to provide support to Natasha and her children.
Nelson says the Riviera Beach Police Department placed his son in a "zone of risk" by letting a dangerous and violent situation continue at the Dell home.
Both DCF and the city of Riviera Beach declined to comment because of pending litigation.
However, DCF's regional director at the time did admit they could have done more to protect the slain family from Dell.
According to the lawsuit, Nelson is seeking more than $15,000 in damages.
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