NEW: No bond for teen charged as adult in Caloosa Park slaying


A 17-year-old from Riviera Beach was ordered by a judge on Saturday to be held without bond in the fatal shooting of a man at Caloosa Park in a drug deal gone wrong.

Stephen Thal was arrested by the U.S. Marshals South Florida Regional Task Force during a traffic stop on Nov. 20 in West Palm Beach. He faces charges of first-degree murder with a firearm and robbery with a firearm.

On Nov. 19 around 8 p.m., police responded to shots fired at Caloosa Park off Congress Avenue south of Woolbright Road. Around 50 people were at the park and ran from the basketball courts after the shooting. A 20-year-old man, Desean Menalas, of Boynton Beach, was shot in the back. He was taken to Delray Medical Center and died shortly after.

Witnesses told police that two people were involved in the shooting, and Boynton Beach police spokesperson Stephanie Slater said that investigators are working to identify the second suspect.

A witness told officers that Menalas was at the park to sell marijuana to Thal and the other suspect, and Menalas sent the pair a text message with the park’s address. While Menalas conducted the drug deal, a witness said Thal pulled out a black semi-automatic handgun and pointed it at Menalas.

At the scene, officers confiscated nine shell casings from two different guns. They also recovered Menalas’ cell phone and discovered messages between him and the suspects.

During their search, investigators a video on Thal’s Facebook page of him holding a large-caliber firearm and photos of him with a large amount of money and marijuana, police said.

Thal’s case will be presented to the grand jury with an undetermined court date.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Local

Court rules against monkey in copyright infringement case
Court rules against monkey in copyright infringement case

Monkey see, monkey can’t sue. A federal appeals court, in a unanimous decision, ruled Monday that animals cannot sue for copyright protection, The Los Angeles Times reported. The ruling came in the case of Naruto, a 7-year-old crested macaque living in a reserve in Indonesia. In 2011, the monkey allegedly took selfies with a wildlife...
Florida student makes racist prom proposal 
Florida student makes racist prom proposal 

There are many inventive ways to ask someone to the prom, but a Florida teenager is being criticized after he used a racist sign to invite his girlfriend. The sign created by Noah Crowley, 18, of Sarasota, read “If I was black, I’d be picking cotton, but I’m white, so I’m picking u 4 prom,” the Herald-Tribune of Sarasota...
NEW: Confrontation in West Palm-area restaurant led to fatal shooting
NEW: Confrontation in West Palm-area restaurant led to fatal shooting

A woman crashed into Eric Stewart’s car early Monday in the Coco Plum Plaza parking lot, and the 28-year-old was angry, witnesses told Palm Beach County sheriff’s authorities.  He stormed after the woman as she drove away and banged on her car window. According to Omari Fenton, Stewart was holding “a large firearm...
Study: Even mild head injuries increase risk of Parkinson's disease
Study: Even mild head injuries increase risk of Parkinson's disease

Even mild head injuries dramatically increase an individual's risk of developing Parkinson's disease, according to a new large-scale study on veterans. The new research, published this month in the academic journal Neurology, looked at data collected from 325,870 former members of the U.S. military ranging from 31 to 65 years of age. Researchers...
The sour truth about artificial sweeteners
The sour truth about artificial sweeteners

Artificial sweeteners are used by many people trying to lose weight. They’re often touted as ‘healthy’ by food and beverage companies – but guess again. Recent research links these chemical sugar substitutes to weight gain, heart disease and diabetes. So, how can something with zero calories lead to obesity and disease? “It...
More Stories