Report: Hero 10-year-old girl saves grandmother who was set on fire by ex-boyfriend


SAN ANTONIO, TX- According to reports, a 10-year-old girl is being hailed as a hero for saving her grandmother’s life after her ex-boyfriend allegedly set her on fire during a dispute.

The family said that the victim, since identified as 57-year-old Deborah Romo, has been in an abusive relationship with 43-year-old Roberto Cocolan. The family said they knew of some instances of abuse, but felt their mother was always too scared to leave. 

Ashley Valdez, Romo’s daughter, added:

“One thing about my mother is that she was very good at hiding things, so we didn’t know it would ever get to this point.”

Around 8 p.m. on Tuesday, August 31st, when Romo was getting off work, an argument with her ex-boyfriend escalated. According to police, Nevaeh Gallegos, her granddaughter, witnessed the entire incident. Nevaeh said:

“I heard them arguing. Then I saw my grandma go put on her pajamas and Robert went to take a shower. My grandma was sitting on the couch and then Robert started arguing about his truck keys.”

She said things got quiet, but afterward, she witnessed something no child should ever have to see. Nevaeh recalled what happened next:

“I heard my grandma screaming and then she was on the couch, but I saw her on the floor. He was standing and pouring gas on her and she was crying. I pushed him and tried to hit him, but he still continued doing it.”

San Antonio police said after pouring gas on Romo, Cocolan allegedly used a lighter to ignite her on fire. Nevaeh said:

“I was sad because I couldn’t help her more. I started crying because I couldn’t find my grandma because of all the smoke. I then heard her tell me to get my tio Martin next door.”

That is when Nevaeh grabbed her 2-year-old sister, put a blanket over her face to prevent smoke inhalation, and rand next door to get help. The family said they had to use mop water to put the fire out. The victim’s daughter, Amber Vega, said:

“I believe he planned this. He cut the water off to the house before doing this. There was no running water in the household, so we had to use water in the mop bucket.”

Reportedly, the fire resulted in 35 percent of Romo’s body being covered in burns. Vega added:

“She has burns from her face, ears, arms, all the way down. Second and third degree burns.”

The family said they are beyond angry with Cocolan and do not have any forgiveness for what he did to Romo. Jay Gallegos, the victim’s son-in-law added:

“I have no words. For him to do something like this in front of my children and to my beautiful mother-in-law. He tried to take her beauty away from her. All I would say is, ‘why?'”

Romo is a certified nursing assistant at Christus Santa Rose and her family said that she loved her job so much she would work 12-hour shifts, even days a week. Her son, Michael Vega, said:

“She impacted so many people. Anyone who knew her loved her. I just thank everyone for helping until this man was caught.”

Vega added:

“She is still going to be beautiful. She has lost nothing. She still has everything – family, friends, and her beauty. She is still beautiful.”

The family wants this horrific incident to help raise awareness for domestic violence. Valdez said:

“Even if you are scared, speak up and tell someone. Reach out for help. You are not alone. There are many resources out there for you.”

Vega added:

“My mother is a strong fighter. I would say you fight and defend yourself and get out. The people will eventually get what they deserve and I am going to make sure he (Cocolan) doesn’t get parole.”

She said:

“I want him to sit in there and I want him to suffer the way my mom is having to sit in that hospital and go through that pain.”

According to reports, Cocolan was later arrested for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon causing serious bodily injury and arson. His bond has been set at $500,000.

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Police K-9 killed, two officers injured after being ambushed during a 911 call about a domestic dispute

June 6th, 2021

BRAINTREE, MASSACHUSETTS– On Friday afternoon, June 4th, a shootout occurred between police and a suspect following a 911 call about a domestic dispute taking place, and now two police officers are injured and a K-9 officer is dead. 

According to the District Attorney’s office, the incident began around 1 p.m. at Braintree Village apartments off Commercial Street and McCusker Drive, where the police received a phone call that a domestic disturbance was taking place. 

The 911 caller informed the officers that they saw the suspect flee into nearby woods with multiple firearms.

Once on scene, several police officers went into the woods and were led by a police K-9 who was following the suspects trail, according to the Norfolk District Attorney’s office.

The suspect, identified as 34-year-old Andrew Homen, reportedly opened fire on the officers, who then returned shots.

An eyewitness to the incident, Robert Cooke, told ABC affiliate WCVB:

“I could hear the police yelling at someone, ‘Get down, get down.’ and I could hear him saying, ‘What did I do?’,” 

The Norfolk District Attorney’s office reported that K-9 officer Kitt was shot and killed during the incident. Additionally, two police officers were shot, but were thankfully wearing their bulletproof vests. 

The wounded officers, now identified as Officer Matthew Donoghue, and Officer Bill Cushing were transported to area hospitals and underwent surgery, but police said their prognoses were good, ABC7 reported.

Officer Matthew Donoghue was released from Boston Medical Center Saturday afternoon. The Patriot Ledger reports the 34-year-old has been on the police force for four years and is a National Guard veteran who served in Afghanistan.

According to Twitter post from the Briantree Police Department, Donoghue was given a police escort home. 

WBUR reported that 44-year-old Officer Bill Cushing remains at a local hospital but is also expected to recover. Cushing is reportedly a 15-year veteran of the department and was the handler of K-9 officer Kitt. 

K-9 officer Kitt was a 12-year veteran of the force. His body was reportedly carted out with an American flag draped over him while a group of officer lined up and saluted.

The Braintree Police Department honored Kitt on Twitter with a post that read in part:

“You went out a lion, protecting your dad and his partners.”

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