PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. - At 1st and 10 Sports Bar and Grill in Boynton Beach neighbors say the doors have closed for good.
But for Karen Perez, the images of what happened there last summer are not going away.
"I didn't believe it. When they called me I said 'you better call me back and tell me it's a lie, you better tell me it's not true,' " a teary-eyed Perez said earlier this year.
14 months after a bar fight inside ended in the death of 26-year-old Victor Arango outside, Perez, the mother of his child, is suing the business and the plaza where the fatal shooting happened.
According to the lawsuit, the bar and the plaza’s developers, Developers Diversified Realty Corp and DDRM Aberdeen Square, LLC, were supposed to secure the property and provide security to customers at the bar. Neither of which happened during the morning of June 7, 2012, according to the lawsuit. That’s when a group of girls started fighting inside the bar. The fight continued outside. Arango, reportedly had tried to break up the fight which involved his girlfriend when he was shot and killed by a PBSO deputy.
Also named in the lawsuit, the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office and the deputy who pulled the trigger. The deputy told investigators he feared Arango was going to pull a gun on another deputy when he decided to shoot.
But according to the lawsuit, Arango was "subdued with a cast on one of his arms and posed no threat…”
"He broke his hand,” said Perez. "He couldn't use it any other way."
Perez is also questioning whether the deputy, Michael Suszczynski, was fit for duty at the time of the shooting.
A Contact 5 investigation earlier this year revealed Suszczynski's past included arrests for disorderly conduct and assault, and his previous job history included reprimands and a suspension for police misconduct.
"Why would PBSO let someone out there if their record was so dirty like that?" asked Perez who was surprised to learn of the Deputy’s past.
It's a question this mother will always ask now that her 4-year-old daughter, Anylah, is left fatherless and still wondering why.
“Pappy is with Jesus up in the moon,” she said. “I pray to him.”
The bar's owner and the developers named in the lawsuit have not responded to a request for comment.
The sheriff's office has also not responded to our request for comment. Sheriff Ric Bradshaw has always maintained that this shooting was justified. The Palm Beach County State Attorney also concluded the use of deadly force in this case was reasonable.
Copyright 2013 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
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