BSO: Man arrested for placing dead animals on Parkland memorial

Robert Mondragon, 29, has obsession with school shootings, authorities say

PARKLAND, Fla. – A Broward County man is facing multiple charges for leaving dead animals on a memorial for those killed in the Parkland school shooting, authorities announced Friday.

Broward Sheriff’s Office detectives said their investigation also revealed his disturbing fascination with school shootings.

According to deputies, Robert Mondragon, 29, of Margate, is currently being held without bond on charges of removing or disfiguring a tomb or monument (three counts), violation of probation for battery and indecent exposure (five counts) and violation of a risk protection order.

Robert Mondragon, 29, of Margate, is at the Broward County jail held without bond. Detectives worry it's only a matter of time before he causes a tragedy.

Deputies said that on July 20, a school crossing guard discovered a dead duck with its chest cavity cut open on a bench at the MSD Memorial Garden, located outside Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

Broward County Sheriff Gregory Tony said, “the nature of the encounters that we’ve had with multiple attempts at suicide and multiple calls of service related to he having a desire to create an active shooter event in our school systems.”

Authorities said the next day the school crossing guard found a dead raccoon on the same memorial bench, and on July 31, a deputy found a dead opossum on the bench.

According to detectives, surveillance video shows a white Nissan with all black rims or tires with no hubcaps arrive at the memorial shortly after 11 p.m. on July 30.

Detectives said the male driver got out of the car and walked to the passenger’s side, then entered the memorial for several minutes before getting back in the car and leaving.

Authorities said late at night the next evening, a BSO Parkland district deputy saw a white Nissan Sentra with illegal window tint that matched the vehicle description from the surveillance video driving slowly in the area of Pine Island Road and Holmberg Road, so he pulled over the driver.

Deputies say Mondragon was the only person in the car, and the deputy saw bird feathers and blood on the front passenger-side floorboard.

Mondragon told the deputy he had the dead bird in his car because he “likes the metal and blood smell that emit from the dead animal,” authorities said.

From sacrificing animals at a Marjory Stoneman Douglas memorial to disturbing internet searches, deputies say they knew Mondragon needed to be off the street.

“It became pivotal that we would utilize whatever criminal charges were going to be afforded to us,” said Tony.

A neighbor of Mondragon’s told Local 10 News that the 29-year-old lived with his father in a Margate apartment.

“I saw him a few times, not often--I would never walk by him,” the neighbor said. “It was usually at night you saw him and he had a bandana on him--you didn’t get to see the extent of what was on his face.”

When asked by Local 10 if she’s seen them (Mondragon, father) with a gun, the neighbor said, “Yes, big guns--guns that were the size of me.”

Mondragon was arrested the night of Aug. 4 for allegedly violating his probation for battery and indecent exposure and for violating his risk protection order.

As detectives continued their investigation regarding the dead animals placed on the memorial, they obtained various search warrants for Mondragon’s car, home, cellphone and social media accounts.

Authorities confirmed they found a photo on Mondragon’s phone of him holding a dead duck with its chest cavity cut open, and another photo on his phone of a dead raccoon on the floorboard of the passenger’s side of his vehicle.

Detectives said their investigation also revealed Mondragon’s obsession with school shooters, “both real and fictional.” They said Mondragon’s facial tattoos resemble those of Tate Langdon, the character from the television series American Horror Story based on the Columbine High School massacre.

They said they also found text messages about school shootings and internet searches about school shooters, how to break into steel doors, shootings involving multiple victims, pipe bombs, as well as slang terms for killing cops.

“Further concerning evidence revealed that two weeks before the end of the 2021/2022 school year, Mondragon walked the path the MSD school shooter took from the high school to Walmart on Feb. 14, 2018,” a BSO news release stated.

BSO detectives say they received “valuable assistance from Coral Springs Police officers based on their previous encounters with Mondragon and ATF (Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives) agents, who are pursuing possible federal charges against Mondragon.”

About the Authors:

Ryan Mackey is our newest digital journalist at WPLG. He is New York born and South Florida raised.

Jeff Weinsier joined Local 10 News in September 1994. He is currently an investigative reporter for Local 10. He is also responsible for the very popular Dirty Dining segments.