Monday, March 26, 2012
7 News Investigations: He Said She Said Part 2
Domestic disputes are never easy to solve, but one case that resulted in the arrest of a young woman raised eyebrows because of an undercover video. Now, there's been a big development, and investigative reporter Carmel Cafiero is on the case.
WSVN -- As 7 News first reported, Evangelina Irigoyen was taken to jail on a felony charge of aggravated battery last month.
A former boyfriend, Cesar Vadala, told police she ran over his feet with her car and went to the hospital.
She said she didn't do it.
Evangelina Irigoyen: "He become obsessed with phone calls, stalking me outside of my house."
Earlier, she had gone to court trying to get a restraining order against him, a request denied by a judge.
Evangelina Irigoyen: "He's a guy who says, 'No one says 'No' to me, I get what I want, and you are staying with me no matter what.'"
Carmel Cafiero: "Were you afraid he was going to hurt you?"
Evangelina Irigoyen: "Absolutely."
Miami Police arrested her despite that, and despite the fact this undercover video raised doubts about Vadala's claim of injury.
Robert Crispin, Private Investigator: "You can see in these videos here, he is walking just fine."
The day after he went to the hospital, Vadala was photographed walking on Miami Beach.
Robert Crispin, Private Investigator: "Clearly, you can see he's in sandals, he's got no injuries."
Later, he was caught on camera again, this time walking and then wrapping his left foot.
Robert Crispin, Private Investigator: "He's opened his black duffel bag, and he's now installing a cast onto his foot."
Vadala went to the Miami-Dade State Attorney's Office.
A spokesman says he wanted to file charges against Evangelina but was told he would have to go to the police department.
After a bus ride back to the beach, Vadala removes the cast, uses deodorant and then walks off.
Evangelina's attorney says she should have never been charged.
Ron Lowy, Evangelina's Attorney: "They didn't want to meet with Evangelina. They didn't want to meet with me. They didn't want to discuss the evidence."
Major Delrish Moss, Miami Police Department: "The bottom line is, the probable cause does exist to say the incident did take place."
Judge: "Evangelina Irigoyen."
After a night in jail, Evangelina was released on bond.
But now, a month later, she's free and clear.
Ron Lowy, Evangelina's Attorney: "It makes one wonder why that was even necessary. Why was she put through that grief?"
Carmel Cafiero, Investigative Reporter: "The Miami-Dade State Attorney's Office dropped the case. It dropped the case before there was even an opportunity for Evangelina to enter a not guilty plea. It decided the case could not be proved beyond a reasonable doubt."
Evangelina Irigoyen, Charges Dropped: "I don't want to call it anger, but I was denied my right to speak. Anger won't take me anywhere at this point. The most important thing is justice was done."
According to a memo from the State Attorney's Office, the case was dropped for a variety of reasons, among them the video of Vadala walking without a cast; there were no witnesses to her allegedly running over his feet; and Vadala has left the country.
Evangelina Irigoyen, Charges Dropped: "Well, it's been difficult, but every challenge has helped you to grow up, so I take this as an experience to help me grow up to become stronger."
Evangelina is grateful the ordeal is over.
But she wishes in this case of he said-she said, authorities would have paid more attention to what she said.