Yuly Solano, a mother and Boynton Beach resident, went through the unthinkable in October of 2017, when she was shot four times by her ex-boyfriend, a Sheriff’s deputy named Michael Demarco. The attempted murder-suicide occurred after three weeks of harassment, threats, and vandalism following Solano ending their relationship.
But could this tragedy have been avoided if her complaints had been taken seriously by the Inlet Harbor Condominium association where both the victim and the perpetrator lived?
According to Solano, DeMarco was persistent in his pursuit of their relationship, which quickly turned toxic. He was extremely controlling and threatened violence, leaving Solano in fear for her and her daughter’s safety. After she decided to end things, her fear increased. DeMarco’s harassment of the victim included threatening texts and phone calls, banging on her door, and vandalizing her property.
Solano complained three times to the Inlet Harbor’s Association about these very serious harassment actions. Because of DeMarco’s status as a Sheriff’s deputy, her concerns fell on deaf ears. Even though all of her complaints were thoroughly documented, they refused to do anything.
After three weeks DeMarco acted on his threats, and attacked Solano while she was out walking her dog. She was shot four times, once to the middle of her chest, and she was left with severe injuries she is still recovering from. This horrific crime was caught on the surveillance cameras at the complex that ignored her complaints.
The condo association has a duty to provide a safe living environment to its tenants. Solano followed protocol by reporting multiple threats and the documented harassment by DeMarco. The association failed to act on her complaints, putting Solano in an unsafe environment that allowed this tragedy to happen.
No one deserves to live in fear of their safety in their home environment. The condo association should have listened to Solano’s complaints and acted on them by removing Deputy DeMarco from the community. By ignoring her pleas for a safe environment, the association failed to provide one of the fundamental rights of tenants in the community: their safety.
Following the incident, Solano is using her voice to advocate for fellow domestic abuse victims. She will not be silenced by the trauma she went through, and she hopes that by sharing her story she can create higher awareness of the signs of domestic abuse, and how communities can provide a safer environment for women to live in.