Honorary Lehigh Mayor in New Jersey jail
Photo: Video by fox4now.com
CREATED Jul. 25, 2013
FORT MYERS, Fla.- A man once named Honorary Mayor of Lehigh Acres is in a New Jersey jail tonight!
Former Florida resident 51 year old Anthony Vocaturo is facing several charges including attempted murder and aggravated assault, after a standoff with police in Rosedale... a town near New York City.
It happened July 11th, around 10 p.m.
Police say Vocaturo burst into his girlfriends home armed with an automatic weapon,
That's when she called police and said Vocaturo was trying to kill her and her teenage son.
When officers arrived, police said Vocaturo started shooting at the woman and her son.
Officers fired back, hitting Vocaturo in the right side.
Reports show the mother and son managed to escape during the gunfire.
After a stand off that lasted for five and a half hours, Vocaturo eventually surrendered.
Of those who knew him in Lehigh -- some say they remember his temper.
Vocaturo was voted honorary Mayor of Lehigh in 2008.
He won the title in a competition to raise money for charity.
But those who worked with him at the Kiwanis thrift store in Lehigh -- aren't as charitable in their comments about him.
When asked to speak about Vocaturo, some members of the local chapter of the Kiwanis club chose their words carefully.
Store manager Damon Shelor said "we had some conflicts in management style here at the store... and we went different directions."
Vocaturo is no stranger to tragedy.
Just last year, his wife was the victim in a deadly hit and run crash.
But thrift store floor manager Enrique Gomez says Vocaturo had issues even before that tragedy.
Gomez said "he'd be talking.. he'd be normal then all of a sudden he would blow up - sometimes you knew why. sometimes you didn't know why... it was scary"
Vocaturo also had a land management company in Lehigh.
His former partners were unavailable for an interview but did say that after his wife's death,
Vocaturo seemed to never get over his depression.
Vocaturo was treated for his injuries and is currently being held at the Essex County Correctional facility in Newark, NJ.
Bail has been set at $500,000.00.