Domestic abuser arrested after victim seeks help

Historic City News in St Johns County learned yesterday that Flagler County deputies responded to a victim’s shelter early Tuesday morning after receiving reports that a domestic violence offender was being warned against trespass in the area.

After a 20-year relationship with 53-year-old Dominic Petrillo, the victim reported that she was involved in an altercation at their residence on Avocado Boulevard in Bunnell on May 6th.

“Getting out of an abusive relationship is not easy, but help is available,” Sheriff Rick Staly said. “The victim’s advocates at the Sheriff’s Office and the Family Life Center partner with victims of domestic violence. I urge anyone in a violent relationship to seek help. Protect yourself by getting out.”

The Family Life Center provides support services to individuals and families involved in domestic violence situations in Flagler County. A 24-hour crisis hotline can be reached at 386-437-3505.

In 2017, Sheriff Staly identified Domestic Violence as a community problem and started a Domestic Violence Task Force to find a community driven solution. Many initiatives have come out of the task force and for the first quarter of 2019, domestic violence incidents are down 30% in Flagler County.

According to the victim, Petrillo held her against the wall and pushed his arm and fist against her throat impeding her ability to breathe. The victim had bruising consistent with the account.

Petrillo then retrieved a shotgun and pointed it at the victim’s head stating that he was going to “put a bullet” in her head. The victim was able to escape and fled to the shelter. 

Petrillo continually drove his truck back and forth in front of the shelter while deputies were conducting their investigation. A traffic stop was conducted, and Petrillo was arrested. 

Petrillo was taken into custody and charged with aggravated domestic battery by strangulation, aggravated domestic assault, domestic battery, and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. 

After his arrest, Petrillo complained of a medical condition and was transported to the hospital. Once medically cleared, he will be booked into the Sheriff Perry Hall Inmate Detention Facility.