Volusia County: Where Violent Offenders Vacation!
The misleadingly-named XBox murder case is heading in an even more bizarre and tragic direction than I imagined. Several government officials have already been fired over their handling of the violent repeat offender at the center of the case, but transcripts of 911 calls made by victim Erin Belanger suggest Volusia County may also need a new sheriff.
The presence of a violent, screaming group of people at Belanger's home several days before the murders was evidently not a big deal. Deputies were dispatched to "discuss" options with Belanger, but no arrests were made. A sheriff's spokesman has suggested there was little more to be done as Belanger did not give them any names of the people threatening her and banging on her door.
The news stories on the case do not make clear if the officers ever went out looking for anyone in connection with the multiple calls made by Belanger, or if they merely rolled up to the residence and considered the matter closed. Nor is it clear if a stolen property report was ever taken from Belanger regarding the electronics that went missing from her grandmother's home.
Reading between the lines of what transpired, a regrettable leap, it seems as if the Volusia sheriff's office regarded Belanger's complaints as some sort of low-intensity domestic squabble between former roommates. It also seems that minor property crime is not a law enforcement focus in Volusia, and is perhaps even tolerated as long as a firearm is not involved. And it is a safe bet that had ex-con Troy Victorino gone onto government property and threatened a county official, officers would not have insisted on a name before trying to find him.