17-year-old accused of trying to kill mother at Davie home

Police: Teen threw makeshift bomb at victim, beat her with bat and stabbed her

DAVIE, Fla. – A 17-year-old boy was arrested Tuesday on accusations that he tried to kill his mother at their home in Davie.

According to an arrest report, the victim, Harolyn Monroe, had been having ongoing disciplinary issues with her son, James Monroe.

Police said James Monroe admitted that his mother has been unhappy with him due to his lack of maturity, the use of his social media and the fact that he had been sneaking out of the home at night.

Authorities said James Monroe filled a glass bottle with alcohol, stuffed a rag into the top and then lit it as he walked into his mother's bedroom sometime after midnight Tuesday.

According to the arrest report, the teen threw the device toward the ceiling over his mother's bed, causing it to explode and drop fire and glass on top of the victim.

Police said James Monroe then grabbed a baseball bat and struck his mother all over her body and head. He also used a large butcher-style knife to stab his mother in the stomach, authorities said.

"My son just tried to kill me. Please hurry up. He is right behind me," Harolyn Monroe told a 911 dispatcher just after the attack.

"Why did you feel you needed to hit me with a bat and tried to set me on fire?" she is later heard asking her son in the phone call recording.

Detectives said the teen admitted to attacking his mother because he was angry with her. He claimed he was not trying to kill her, but "just wanted to hurt her," the arrest report stated.

Police said James Monroe told them he eventually stopped attacking his mother because the smoke and smoke detector were bothering him.

Harolyn Monroe was taken to Memorial Regional Hospital, where she underwent emergency surgery for her severe injuries from being beaten, stabbed and burned. Authorities said she also suffered cuts to her hands while she was trying to prevent her son from stabbing her.

Davie police told Local 10 News that the victim's calm demeanor with her son and the 911 dispatcher is what more than likely saved her life.

"So you are trying to hang out with your friends and that is your whole thing, and you felt like I was taking that from you? But you got to understand that I am always the mom. I am always going to be mom," Harolyn Monroe told her son.

James Monroe, who police said is a senior at Hollywood Hills High School, was arrested on charges of attempted felony murder and making/possession of a destructive device with the intent to do harm. 

A student at the school told Local 10 News reporter Roy Ramos that James Monroe is a quiet person who kept to himself at school.

"He was a really chill person," one student said.

"It was actually shocking to me, because I don't know why somebody would do that to their mom," student Michael Marroquin said.

It's unclear whether James Monroe will be charged as an adult in the case. 


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