Unsolved Pasco County Halloween Crime
October 25, 2022 Don Pumphrey, Jr. Criminal Defense, News & Announcements, Violent Crimes Social Share
Violent crimes can range from misdemeanor charges to felony charges depending on the severity of the offense. As violent crimes are seen as a threat to society, they are taken very seriously and often prosecuted in Florida.
We will cover the details below of a violent crime case that took place on Halloween.
What was the Case?
On Halloween night in 2017, a family went out trick-or-treating with their two young sons. Caitlin Bariso, 31, and her boyfriend Luis Bermudez, 26, took their then 2- and 5-year-old around their Wesley Chapel neighborhood. Caitlin’s parents Carin and Joe tagged along, expecting it to be like any normal Halloween evening with small children.
Sometime around 10 pm after Carin and Joe left, two men in masks stormed into Caitlin and Luis’ home. According to the report, the two-year-old son was asleep in his room, but the 5-year-old was awake and witnessed the traumatic event.
One of the masked men kicked Bermudez to the ground and pinned him there with his foot on top of his head. “Give me my f—king money,” the other man shouted. Caitlin questioned the two intruders, calling them by their first name as she held the 5-year-old son on her hip.
“What are you doing?” Caitlin asked. “I have a 2-year-old baby here.”
Caitlin attempted to arm herself but wasn’t quick enough. One of the masked men shot her in the head. The two suspects managed to escape into a black 4-door sedan with a third person waiting in the driver’s seat.
The case’s detectives do not believe it was a random attack—police uncovered a large number of drugs in the couple’s home. Grandparents Carin and Joe claimed they had no idea about the mini-fridge stored in Caitlin’s house—filled with 40-pound glass jars of THC wax, vacuum-sealed bags of marijuana, and Oxycodone pills.
Caitlin’s parents later told the Tampa Bay Times that their daughter abused drugs as a teenager, later meeting Luis while in rehab. They believed the two had gotten clean but had no idea they were allegedly selling illegal substances.
The bullet went in and exited from the right side of Caitlin’s head. She was in critical condition and placed in an induced coma. The family was unsure if Caitlin would recover since the bullet hit the part of the brain that controls movement, organization, and memory.
Caitlin managed to recover but was considered legally blind and had problems with short-term memory. On top of her mental and physical state, Caitlin and Luis had additional legal problems to deal with.
After the shooting, police arrested Luis and charged him with possessing, producing, and trafficking illegal drugs. In 2019, Luis pleaded guilty to the drug charges brought up against him and was given a two-year sentence. After Caitlin recovered, she had no choice but to sign away her parental rights to her parents Carin and Joe.
Aftermath of the Violent Event
Police never made an arrest in the case—despite checking the neighbor’s security cameras, interviewing witnesses, and searching for fingerprints. The case still remains open.
Caitlin has since found an assisted living facility and is required to wear a protective helmet to protect the holes in her skull. Therapists recommended against Catie seeing her sons, with the fear that it may undo the stability that they’ve just now found with their grandparents.
Violent Crimes in Florida
Violent crime convictions can result in serious repercussions. Under Florida law, there are various charges that are categorized under “crimes of violence.” In general terms, a crime is considered violent if there was the use of force or some sort of physical confrontation between the defendant and the victim. The following is a list of examples of violent crimes:
To find out more about each of the violent crimes listed above, read our violent crimes page here.
Finding a Defense Attorney in Tallahassee, Florida
If you or a loved one have been accused of a crime in Florida, your first step should be seeking out a legal advisor in your area. Violent crime convictions come with harsh penalties, including expensive fines and potential prison time. The best bet to protect yourself and your future is to build a defense for your case with an experienced Tallahassee, FL defense attorney. Don Pumphrey and his team at Pumphrey Law Firm have represented clients across the state for various criminal charges. Call us today for a free consultation at (850) 681-7777 or leave us an online message on our website.
Written by Karissa Key