Tuesday, June 19, 2018
Public safety

Feud between brothers-in-law turns fatal at Valrico house

VALRICO — On Monday, John Danco threatened to beat up his brother-in-law.

It was yet another bump in an already rocky relationship, according to Hillsborough County deputies.

This time, it took a fatal turn.

Danco, 37, arrived at Shawn Berg's home just after 11 p.m. Monday and kicked in the garage door. Berg, a 39-year-old software engineer and father of three, pointed a gun at Danco and fired, deputies said. Then Berg called 911 to say he shot an intruder.

Danco died on the garage floor.

Deputies have not charged Berg in the shooting. Late Tuesday, he remained in jail, on $4,000 bail, on felony drug charges authorities levied after they say they found methamphetamine and Oxycontin in his house at 2005 Cimmaron Run Drive in Valrico.

The origin of the pair's feud is unclear.

Danco married Berg's sister, Suzanne, in front of a courthouse clerk in 2004. Lately, the two were estranged. Suzanne Danco lists herself on Facebook as "separated."

But that did not stop Berg and John Danco from bickering.

According to injunctions filed in Hillsborough County, others also had accused Danco of threatening them. Suzanne Danco describes several violent incidents in court records.

In 2005, Suzanne Danco told deputies that John Danco hit her with his fist and a baseball bat. The investigator noted swelling, torn skin and bruising.

In 2006, she said he pushed her to the ground while she was holding their infant child.

The next year, she told deputies he slapped her face.

John Danco was charged with aggravated assault that time and pleaded no contest. He got five years of probation.

He graduated from Bloomingdale High School and since worked as a tree trimmer and welder. He had a young daughter with his strawberry blond hair.

His small Valrico apartment is filled with reminders of his girl. Among sparse furnishings, photos of them together take up one wall. Several of her crayon drawings of butterflies and princesses are plastered beneath them.

On the second-hand dining table sits a roll of pink Tinkerbell wrapping paper he used to wrap her sixth birthday present a week ago.

"All his goals were for his daughter, to do everything for his daughter," said Angelina Maita, a next-door neighbor. "He had scraped up every dime he could so that he could take her to Chuck E. Cheese for her birthday."

Danco told one of his landlords, Virginia Lamy, that he lost custody of his daughter. He moved into an apartment behind her and her husband's house eight months ago, Lamy said.

"He was trying to turn his life around," she said. "He wanted to get back together with his wife and get his child back."

Danco was mad with Shawn Berg in recent weeks, Lamy said, which was a big change from the way he used to feel about Berg.

"The two were best friends," she said. "That's how he met his wife."

Danco was very helpful, say his landlords. Anything Lamy's husband would ask of him, he would do, she said.

"He was also very smart," Lamy said. "But not smart enough to stay away from that guy."

Deputies said Tuesday they were still investigating.

Times news researcher John Martin and staff writers Keeley Sheehan and Laura C. Morel contributed to this report. Jessica Vander Velde can be reached at [email protected] or (813) 226-3433.

Comments
St. Petersburg power outage affects thousands

St. Petersburg power outage affects thousands

More than 2,000 Duke Energy customers are without power after a cluster of storms rolled through earlier this afternoon, according to Duke Energy.The area without power stretches along 62nd Avenue N from 12th Street N to 30th Way N, according to the ...
Updated: 25 minutes ago
Safety Harbor fire chief departs: ‘Take pride in the job’

Safety Harbor fire chief departs: ‘Take pride in the job’

SAFETY HARBOR — When Fire Chief Joe Accetta started working at the Safety Harbor Fire Department, Fire Station 53 was a double wide in the middle of a field now home to Mease Countryside Hospital.Now almost four decades of challenges and promotions l...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Deputies search for suspects in rapper XXXTentacion slaying

Deputies search for suspects in rapper XXXTentacion slaying

DEERFIELD BEACH, Fla. — Deputies were searching for suspects Tuesday after troubled rapper-singer XXXTentacion was fatally shot in the driver’s seat of a luxury electric sports car. The 20-year-old rising star, who pronounced his stage name "Ex Ex Ex...
Updated: 4 hours ago
New Port Richey man faces sexual battery charges

New Port Richey man faces sexual battery charges

NEW PORT RICHEY — A New Port Richey man was arrested Monday and faces sexual battery charges after deputies said he sexually assaulted a 10-year-old girl.Jonathan Wells, 33, would take the victim into his bedroom and undress her, kiss her face and ne...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Lakeland father, girlfriend face charges in death of 6-year-old girl

Lakeland father, girlfriend face charges in death of 6-year-old girl

A Lakeland man and his girlfriend face charges of first-degree murder and aggravated manslaughter in the death of his 6-year-old daughter last week.Larry Lewis Golden Jr., 26, Breonna B. Wren, 21, were arrested Friday and are being held without bail ...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Argument over dog leads to fatal shooting in Polk County

Argument over dog leads to fatal shooting in Polk County

A Fort Meade man was killed Monday night and two others were wounded after Polk County deputies say they approached a man while searching for a lost dog.The shooting occurred around 6:45 p.m. at the home of suspected shooter Charles Peddycoart, at 41...
Published: 06/19/18
Deadly Sunday for swimmers in bay area waters

Deadly Sunday for swimmers in bay area waters

Two people drowned and another suffered life-threatening injuries in the waters of Tampa Bay and the Gulf of Mexico on Sunday.Investigators said all three cases appear to be accidents, but the incidents stand as a reminder that summer, with vacation ...
Published: 06/18/18
Pinellas deputies arrest Mississippi man 31 years after sexual battery

Pinellas deputies arrest Mississippi man 31 years after sexual battery

SEMINOLE — She was 22 when deputies said a man forced her at knifepoint into the woods off Seminole Boulevard and sexually battered her in February 1987.The case went cold, but now the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office said it has arrested the man it ...
Published: 06/18/18
Tampa police seek driver who struck pedestrian and drove off

Tampa police seek driver who struck pedestrian and drove off

TAMPA — Police are seeking the public’s help in locating the driver who fatally struck a pedestrian on Sunday night and then drove off.The incident took place at 9:15 p.m. near the intersection of N Nebraska Avenue and E Linebaugh Avenue.No details a...
Published: 06/18/18
St. Petersburg teen, seven months pregnant, dies in Pasco crash

St. Petersburg teen, seven months pregnant, dies in Pasco crash

HUDSON — A 16-year-old St. Petersburg teen who was seven months pregnant was fatally injured in a crash Sunday night, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.The incident took place at 9:11 p.m. on Little Road south of Hudson Avenue. The teen, Emily ...
Published: 06/18/18