Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Gang connection keeps shooting suspect from getting bail

NEW PORT RICHEY — He was arrested last month on a charge of beating a stranger unconscious.

Then he was released on bail, and a week later, authorities say, David Martin Santiago shot a different stranger at a nightclub. The bullet grazed the victim's leg.

The Pasco County Sheriff's Office arrested Santiago this week for aggravated battery in that latest incident. And when Santiago, a documented leader of the Valentine Bloods gang, showed up for his arraignment Thursday, an attorney from the Tampa Bay gang task force was waiting.

"He came and argued about the gang connection," sheriff's spokesman Kevin Doll said, "and that's why judge gave him a zero bond on this."

Santiago, 28, was cited under a statute to control gang activity that allows a judge to revoke the bond on gang members so they cannot continue to commit crimes. The judge agreed to keep Santiago at the jail without bond.

"We've got to keep him in jail," Doll said. "He's known to us and New Port Richey (police), obviously."

Santiago, of 6422 Old Main St., has previous arrests including shooting into an occupied building, fleeing from law enforcement, leaving the scene of a crash with injury and trafficking in ecstasy.

He was arrested last month on a charge of aggravated battery, one of three gang members accused of beating a 42-year-old man who was test-driving a car on Celeste Lane, where one of the gang members lived. The man suffered several facial fractures in the Nov. 25 attack.

New Port Richey police arrested Santiago on a charge of aggravated battery Dec. 10 after a witness identified him and two other gang members.

Police then also cited Santiago under the gang control statute, but a judge opted to grant him $50,000 bail. He was released Dec. 12.

A week later, Pasco County Sheriff's Office says, Santiago got into a fight with another man at Club Nocturnal, 4527 U.S. 19 in New Port Richey, over a girl. According to the sheriff's report, Santiago announced he was "a Blood" and told the man to leave, then aimed his revolver at the man's leg and pulled the trigger.

The bullet zinged through the man's pant leg and grazed his right inner thigh.

It took a few weeks for the Sheriff's Office to arrest Santiago because the victim serves in the Navy and has been out of the area, Doll said.

Deputies are still searching for a second man involved in that attack, though they have not released his identity.

Gang connection keeps shooting suspect from getting bail 01/29/09 [Last modified: Thursday, January 29, 2009 9:20pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Fennelly: Would you take Jameis Winston over Cam Newton?


    Factoring out futures, it wouldn't be a short list if I picked NFL quarterbacks I'd take right now over Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston.

    Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston (3) calls a play during the first half of Sunday's game. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]
  2. Man faces charge of abuse after 2-month-old injured


    ZEPHYRHILLS — A 2-month-old child was taken to All Children's Hospital with multiple skull fractures Saturday afternoon, according to the Pasco County Sheriff's Office, and a 24-year-old man has been arrested.

    Jacob Brattain, 24, of Zephyrhills is charged with aggravated child abuse and was arrested Sunday. According to the Pasco County Sheriff's Office, a 2-month-old child suffered multiple skull fractures under his care.
  3. Amazon receives 238 proposals from places eager to become its 2nd headquarters


    NEW YORK — Amazon said Monday that it received 238 proposals from cities and regions in the United States, Canada and Mexico hoping to be the home of the company's second headquarters.

    Earlier this month, an Amazon employee gives her dog a biscuit as the pair head into a company building, where dogs are welcome, in Seattle. Amazon says it received 238 proposals from cities and regions hoping to be the home of the company's second headquarters. 
[AP Photo/Elaine Thompson]
  4. Police may have found the body of a Texas toddler whose dad said he banished her to an alley


    Police in Texas say they have "most likely" found the body of Sherin Mathews, the missing 3-year-old girl whose father claims he sent her alone into an alley when she wouldn't drink her milk.

    This undated photo provided by the Richardson Texas Police Department shows 3-year-old Sherin Mathews. Police in a Dallas suburb say they've found the body of a small child, not far from the home of Sherin Mathews, who's been missing since early this month. (Richardson Texas Police Department via AP)
  5. Bucs Cannon Fodder podcast: What went wrong on defense?


    Greg Auman is back from Buffalo, going back over a difficult finish and tough loss for the Bucs, in his latest Cannon Fodder podcast.

    Buffalo Bills tight end Logan Thomas (82) makes a touchdown catch over Bucs defensive back T.J. Ward (43) during the second half. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]