POMPANO BEACH FLA. April 26 2008
Kyle T. Greene
Ntl. Assoc. Private Officers
– Upset over mounting fees levied by the Cypress Bend condo association, a man brandished a gun and took two association employees hostage Thursday before members of the Broward Sheriff’s Office SWAT team shot him to death.
Patrick Dellisanti, 57, lived in the 2200 block of South Cypress Bend Drive.”He was angry and he had complaints, but he let that anger turn to violence,” said sheriff’s spokesman Jim Leljedal.
Dellisanti barged into the condo’s clubhouse shortly after 3 p.m. and demanded to speak with an association employee. He told two women in an office that he was upset over fees the association said he owed them, waved a revolver in the air and fired a shot at the ground, Leljedal said.
The women inside the clubhouse tried to reason with Dellisanti; they even told him they would go to a bank with him so he could withdraw the cash he needed.
After one of the women managed to call 911, authorities surrounded the clubhouse and evacuated residents from the area.”
There were officers everywhere trying to talk to the man inside,” said Ross Torman, 30, a resident who watched the standoff from his second floor balcony across from the clubhouse.Dellisanti released the women at 3:40 p.m. and then left the building. Officers asked him to put his hands in the air. Instead, Dellisanti reached for the waistband of his pants and pulled out the revolver, Leljedal said.”[Deputies] were screaming at him to put the gun down, but he didn’t seem to be paying attention,” Torman said. “
He just put that gun right to his head and that’s when they began to shoot.”Leljedal said officers are trained to fire as soon as someone pulls a weapon.Several members of the SWAT team fired several shots at Dellisanti, authorities and witnesses said.
Those officers will be placed on paid administrative leave, as required by Sheriff’s Office policy, Leljedal said.Dellisanti lived with his mother, Edith Jemas, 80, who owned the condo. Neighbors said Dellisanti did not appear to have a job and said Jemas was ill and under the constant care of personal nurses.County records show that she was behind on her condo association dues, leading the association on April 11 to put a lien against her home
.Jemas missed two quarterly maintenance fees, due Jan. 1 and April 1, totaling $1,707. She also owes a $2,498 special assessment, along with $100 in late fees, the records show.In November, she borrowed $127,500 against her home, to be repaid over 30 years, according to records.Neighbors said the condo association has ordered them to pay a series of special assessments ever since Hurricane Wilma struck in 2005.
A recent notice from the association about the mounting overdue payments and late fees are what pushed Dellisanti to confront the condo association employees, neighbors said.Investigators are trying to determine whether Dellisanti tried to force SWAT team members to shoot him. Such cases are known by law enforcement as “suicide-by-cop.”
Dellisanti was pronounced dead at North Broward Medical Center. Residents were left stunned by the standoff and the shooting.The sprawling condo complex is made up of several buildings that ring a series of lakes. Bushes and a low wall separate the area where the shooting took place from a set of train tracks.”It’s a pretty quiet neighborhood.
This is probably the second most violent thing that’s happened here since I moved in five years ago,” Torman said.
He was alluding to the shooting death in August of Broward Sheriff’s Sgt. Chris Reyka at Walgreens store near the main entrance to Cypress Bend.
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