JUST IN: BSO official has ‘vendetta’ against Zachary Cruz, complaint alleges


Zachary Cruz is in Virginia but his troubles with the Broward County Sheriff’s Office may not be over.

According to court documents filed Monday, the chief of BSO’s probation department asked an electronic-monitoring company to program Cruz’s ankle monitor so that it activated if he entered Broward County.

That restriction was not one of the conditions set for Cruz’s probation after he was arrested in March for trespassing on the campus of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, where his brother, Nikolas, shot to death 17 people on Valentine’s Day.

Parkland gunman’s brother shows ‘same flags,’ prosecutor says

The filing asks Broward Judge Melinda Brown to hold David Scharf, BSO’s director of community programs and a member of Sheriff Scott Israel’s command staff, to be held in contempt of court.

When Cruz went Saturday to his adoptive mother’s gravesite in Fort Lauderdale, the monitor “began alerting to a violation with lights flashing and continuous vibrations,” the documents said.

A representative for Nexus Services, a Virginia-based company providing Cruz with legal representation as well as a rent-free home and a job in Staunton, Va., called the monitoring service and was told the violation would be reported to law enforcement.

“As such, Mr. Cruz was very scared and worried over being arrested for violating his probation when he had not done anything wrong,” the documents said.

A manager for the monitoring service told a Nexus official that Scharf called “every 10 minutes” on Saturday regarding Cruz’s whereabouts and “whether any violations had occurred,” the complaint said.

The manager contacted Scharf, who admitted that “technically” there was no restriction against Cruz being in Broward, but that “he personally wanted to be able to track Mr. Cruz ... ,” the documents state.

“It is clear that Mr. Scharf has a personal vendetta against Mr. Cruz ... ,” the filing alleges.

Zachary Cruz pleads guilty, ordered set free by judge

A call seeking response from BSO was not immediately returned, but the agency has previously said it does not comment on pending litigation.

It was Scharf who followed Cruz into Palm Beach County in April and reported he violated his probation by coming within 25 feet of Park Vista High School in suburban Boynton Beach. At the time, Cruz was living in a mobile home in suburban Lantana.

Brown ruled that Cruz, who received permission to move to Virginia last week, was prohibited from stepping on a school campus where he was not enrolled, but said the stipulation did not make it illegal for Cruz to be near any  school campus except Stoneman Douglas. Zachary Cruz is barred from being closer than a mile to its campus.

The probation violation charge was dropped. Cruz continues to serve six months of probation for the trespassing charge.


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