Who Needs a Lawyer? I’ll Just Fix This Up Myself!

In our latest installment of the “I’ll just fix this up myself” files, the Fort Myers News-Press, reports yet another man walked into the State Attorney’s Office with his girlfriend who had a restraining order against him. He was arrested shortly thereafter.

Here’s the story:

A Lehigh Acres man was arrested Monday for breaking the law — right under the noses of prosecutors.

State attorney’s office spokeswoman Samantha Syoen said Scott Ruggerio, 42, showed up at the prosecutor’s office with his girlfriend Monday morning. Problem was, the woman had a restraining order against Ruggerio.

In fact, she was at the office on matters related to a recent domestic violence case involving Ruggerio.

A staff member at the office identified Ruggerio and alerted investigators, who arrested him a few minutes later.

“It’s really not a good idea to try and commit a crime at the state attorney’s office,” Syoen said.

It is the third such arrest at the state attorney’s office this year, Syoen said, with the other two also having to do with restraining orders.

The protection order against Ruggerio stems from an August arrest during which he was accused of grabbing his live-in girlfriend by the neck, throwing her to the ground and threatening to kill her. The machine builder was released on $5,000 bail, but ordered to have no contact with the victim and stay at least 500 feet away from the Lehigh residence they had shared.

The order had been extended until at least today, when he was set to appear in court on both that and the misdemeanor domestic violence charge.

It was the second domestic violence incident involving the couple this year. The first happened in January.

Earlier this year another man charged with the crime of domestic violence battery decided he’d march into the State Attorney’s Office to try to get the case dismissed. That backfired. He was arrested again.

Here’s that story:

Trip to state attorney backfires for couple

BY PAT GILLESPIE • pgillespie@news-press.com • January 12, 2011

Martina Jose-Ventura went to the state attorney’s office Tuesday hoping to have a domestic violence battery charge against her boyfriend dropped.

But state attorney’s office investigators noticed the man accompanying her, Samuel Morales, had a restraining order not to be with Jose-Ventura because he allegedly beat her in November. They arrested him in the sixth-floor lobby of the office.

So Morales, 23, has picked up a domestic violence-related charge for the second time in two months. From Tuesday’s event, he faces a charge of violating a domestic violence injunction.

When Lawson and Santiago met with Jose-Ventura, they asked Morales for his name. He denied being Samuel Morales, but the two confirmed his identity and knew from research a restraining order was in place.

Morales appeared in court Tuesday on a charge of domestic violence battery stemming from his Nov. 16 arrest, said his attorney, assistant public defender Chris Thompkins.

Thompkins said he wasn’t aware of the new charge.

A judge put a no contact order in place after Morales was arrested in November.

Jose-Ventura’s efforts to get the November battery charge dropped were unsuccessful.

“Ultimately, not filing charges is a decision made by the state attorney’s office,” Syoen said. “Certainly, we listen to the victim. But the charges are based on the facts and the law.”