STUART, Fla. — A Florida teen is behind bars after he smashed through a window and attacked a random family in their home following his ingestion of a psychedelic drug that caused him to act on a “force … he could not stop.”
Nico Gallo, 19, was allegedly high on Dibutylone when he “cannon-balled” through the plate glass window of a Stuart home in the middle of the night on Sunday. He is accused of then attacking a woman and her adult son, who called 911 and beat Gallo in the head with an aluminum baseball bat.
While the woman’s son was able to wrestle Gallo on the floor until police arrived, police described him as a person of “extreme strength and a high tolerance to pain.”
“[Being hit with a bat] did not seem to affect him at all,” Sheriff William Snyder told reporters.
He said that the woman was fearful that the situation was similar to another attack the took place just weeks ago in Tequesta, where Austin Harrouff, also 19, displayed super-human strength as he attacked a random couple at their home and killed them.
As previously reported, Snyder had explained in the case that Harrouff was “growling and grunting” and “making animal noises” when he was found biting the flesh off the face of 59-year-old John Joseph Stevens III.
“Somebody not feeling pain, not responding to a dog bite, repeated stuns from a taser, taking three to four deputies and officer dog to get him off—that’s somebody with a lot more strength than you would normally encounter,” Snyder told CBS12.
Harrouff remains hospitalized, and officials are seeking to determine whether he was under the influence of Flakka or other drugs when the attack occurred.
Snyder told local television station WPTV this week that Gallo acknowledged he was under the influence of drugs when Sunday’s incident occurred.
“I think Gallo is at a total loss for what occurred,” he opined to the outlet. “He remembers parts of what occurred that night, powerful hallucinations. He remembers a force that he says he could not stop moving him forward. Really had he not been on those drugs he wouldn’t have been breaking into that house at 2:40 in the morning.”
“He said it felt like there was something outside of him, propelling him,” Snyder also told local television station WPBF. “He was almost wrestling with himself as we read through his confession and he felt an uncontrollable urge to go into that house.”
Those who know Gallo told reporters that his actions are uncharacteristic. He has no prior criminal record.
“I regret ever taking the drugs that I was on,” he said to reporters as he was being escorted by law enforcement to the Martin County Jail on Tuesday. “I regret breaking into that house, and I regret hurting those people.”
“I’m dearly sorry,” Gallo said.
He is being held on $300,000 bond.