A man who police say has a “disturbing fascination” with mass school shootings, both real and fictional, has been arrested for allegedly leaving dead animals at a memorial dedicated to those who died in the school shooting in Parkland, Florida.
On August 4, Robert Mondragon, 29, was arrested after various dead animals were discovered at a memorial for the 17 people murdered at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on February 14, 2018. On July 20 of this year, a school crossing guard noticed the carcass of a dead duck, its chest cavity cut open, on a memorial bench. The next day, the crossing guard found a dead raccoon, and a deputy found a dead opossum on July 31.
Police said that surveillance video shows a white Nissan with either black rims or no rims pulling up to the memorial garden, located just outside the school property, on July 30 at around 11 p.m. local time.
A deputy spotted a similar-looking vehicle the next day and pulled the driver — Mondragon — over for illegally tinted windows. When the deputy looked into the vehicle, he could see “bird feathers and blood on the front passenger side floorboard,” the Broward County Sheriff's Office reported.
When asked about the blood, Mondragon allegedly told the officer that “he had the dead bird in his car because he likes ‘the metal and blood smell that emit from the dead animal,'” the police report states.
Mondragon was arrested a few days later and charged with three counts of disfiguring a tomb or monument, five counts of violating probation for battery and indecent exposure, and one count of violating a risk protection order. He is currently being held without bond in North Broward Bureau detention facility.
Police said that Mondragon has a “disturbing fascination” with school shootings, including fictional depictions of them. The tattoos on his face allegedly resemble those of the fictional character Tate Langdon from the TV show “American Horror Story.” According to WPEC West Palm Beach, Langdon's character is based on the Columbine shooting in 1999.
On his phone, police also reportedly found pictures of Mondragon posing with dead animals, as well as internet searches about school shootings. Police say that at some point earlier this year, Mondragon even retraced the steps that the Parkland shooter took on the day of the shooting four years ago.
Mondragon's arrest and alleged actions coincide with the shooter's trial. Though the shooter has already pled guilty, a jury must still determine whether he will serve life in prison or receive the death penalty.
Mondragon is also allegedly under investigation by the ATF for unrelated issues.
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