Home invasion motivated by alleged drug deal

By: 
Sep. 4, 2012

Intruders took the victim's possessions after an argument broke out over an alleged past drug deal.

BY MATT MENCARINI | STAFF WRITER

Ormond Beach Police officers were called to an apartment complex on the 700 block of Granada Boulevard in the early hours of Aug. 30 to respond to a possible gunshot. Soon after the officers arrived, they learned the gunshot was the result of a home invasion motivated by a debt from an alleged drug deal.

Ormond Beach resident Louis Garafolo Jr. told police he heard banging on his front door and went to open it without checking the peephole. He said that’s when the four suspects forced their way into his apartment and began arguing with him about money they claimed he owed.

Garafolo said he didn’t know the suspects, and the intruders began to grab his possessions in place of the owed debt.

According to witness statements, it was after the argument that they heard the gunshot, which Garafolo told police came from his Glock 17C handgun that was taken by the suspects during the home invasion.

Garafolo told police the suspects also took an electric guitar, a surfboard and a skateboard; they grabbed his TV but didn’t leave the apartment with it.

According to Garafolo, he pursued the suspects after the left his apartment in hopes of getting his stolen property back.

He said that one of the suspects pointed the gun at him and then pointed it away and fired one shot into the air before placing it on the ground and running off with the other suspects.

Garafolo said he chased after the suspects until he reached Granada Boulevard and Nova Road. He then made contact with Lauren Ford, of Palm Coast, who was in his apartment during the incident, and picked up his gun on the way back to his apartment.

After returning to the apartment, Garafolo placed the gun back in his bedroom closet and he and Ford decided to leave his residence in their respective cars.

Shortly after leaving, Garafolo and Ford returned to the complex and were contacted by police officers. Witnesses told the officers he lived in the apartment where the argument and gunshot were heard.

Garafolo initially told police officers he didn’t live in the apartment but after several attempts by the officers to make contact with the resident living the apartment, Garafolo admitted that he lived there and let officers enter to check if anyone had been injured.

Police found five items of drug paraphernalia in plain sight during the well-being check. Garafolo told police the items belonged to his roommate. The items were taken and handed over to the Ormond Beach Police Department for disposal.

Ford told police minutes before the incident she received a text message telling her not to open the door to Garafolo’s apartment. And after the incident she said she received additional text messages saying the suspects placed some of the stolen items in the bushes.

Garafolo and Ford told police they found only the stolen surfboard.

Police took fingerprints off Garafolo’s TV. The fingerprints, pictures of the surfboard, the surfboard, the handgun, ammunition magazines and a black shirt left by one of the suspects were turned over to the Police Department for processing.