Man accused of attacking Martin County family while on drugs released from hospital

Nico Gallo, 19, arrested on charge of burglary with an assault or battery

Courtesy: Martin County Sheriff's Office.
Courtesy: Martin County Sheriff's Office.

STUART, Fla. – A 19-year-old man accused of "cannonballing" through the front window of a Stuart home early Sunday and attacking a woman and her son while high on drugs was released from the hospital Tuesday afternoon and formally charged, Martin County Sheriff's Office officials said.

Nico Gallo was immediately taken to the Martin County Jail, where he was booked on a charge of burglary with an assault or battery.

He is being held in lieu of a $300,000 bond.

Sheriff William Snyder said Gallo had taken a designer drug that's commonly found in bath salts before breaking into the home at about 2:45 a.m. Sunday.

Authorities said Gallo initially tried to break in through the front door, but was unsuccessful.

Snyder said Gallo jumped through the plate-glass window and grabbed the 55-year-old woman, who broke away and screamed for her adult son.

"I need police! Someone just broke into my house! He broke through my window! I'm  bleeding!" the woman told a 911 dispatcher.

The sheriff said the son fought Gallo while his mother hit the assailant on the head with a baseball bat.

"I just hit him with a baseball bat!" the woman screamed. "I just hit him two more times! He won't leave us alone! He's just going crazy. He's attacking! I have no idea who he is!"

Authorities said Gallo showed an unbelievable amount of strength, and continued fighting the woman's son despite being hit by the aluminum bat until deputies arrived.

Deputies handcuffed Gallo and bound his feet because they said he was kicking them.

The woman who called 911 said she was bleeding from the arm and that Gallo was bleeding from the head.

Authorities said Gallo's friend told detectives that the pair had been high on LSD, bath salts and acid, which they purchased in Margate.

Detectives said drugs found on Gallo's friend tested positive for dibutylone, a designer drug that's commonly found in bath salts.

The attack was in the same county where a 19-year-old Florida State University student was accused of attacking a couple on Aug. 15. Snyder said Austin Harrouff killed Michelle Mishcon Stevens and John Stevens, biting and removing pieces of the man's face with his teeth.


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