New details have emerged in a shocking Florida child abuse case from last year that ended during a brief encounter with law enforcement when the suspect allegedly took his own life.
As Law&Crime previously reported, Ramon Alex Tocabens, 58, shot and killed himself in the middle of the morning on Dec. 17, 2021 at the Oaks Condominiums in Gainesville, Fla. as deputies with the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office were attempting to serve a search warrant.
Law enforcement had attempted to make contact, they said, by knocking on the door–to no response. Then, 15 minutes later, they heard the gunshot. A robot later confirmed Tocabens’ death.
An incident report from earlier that month describes the alleged offense as a “domestic battery” against a 13-year-old boy that resulted in criminal charges of neglect of a child without great bodily harm and cruelty or abuse to a child without great bodily harm. But no details of the alleged abuse and neglect were contained in that report.
Law&Crime has since obtained, by way of an open records request, the sworn complaint and redacted warrant that documents why, exactly, deputies wanted to speak with Tocabens on the day he died.
The boy’s father picked him up just after 5 p.m. on Dec. 9, 2021. Almost immediately, their time together allegedly went south.
The document explains, at length:
Ramon then drove [redacted] to the incident location to vacuum out Ramon’s Ford Grey Escape bearing FL tag [redacted]. Ramon pulled next to the vacuums and began to argue with [redacted] which turned physical. At some point during the argument, [redacted] was battered by Ramon while seated in the front passenger seat. [Redacted] explained that Ramon punched him twice with a closed fist on the left shoulder and then reached across the vehicle, placing his hands around the neck of [redacted]. [Redacted] said that he had a difficult time breathing and had a headache due to be [sic] choked by his father.
“After [redacted] was battered by his father, he got out of the vehicle where the argument continued,” the document goes on. “[Redacted] and Roman continued to argue about vacuuming out the vehicle, [redacted] told him that he would not be doing that. Ramon then threw quarters at [redacted] while he was outside of the vehicle. After having quarters thrown at him, he (redacted) explained that Ramon told him that he can find his own way home. Ramon then left the parking lot, leaving [redacted] alone at the location.”
According to the deputy’s account of the boy’s testimony, the 13-year-old last ate the night before the alleged battery and “stated that he was starving and only had one dollar which was in his pocket.”
For the alleged punching and quarter-throwing incidents, Tocabens was charged with child abuse. For his alleged inability to care for and feed his son, the deceased was charged with child neglect.
“The account provided by [redacted] was observed by an independent witness which lined up with his account of what took place,” ACSO Deputy Carlton Litzkow wrote–noting two separate attempts to contact the father before the fatal day he apparently took his own life.
[image via screengrab/WCJB]
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