A Needless Death

In June Astreverto Peralta, 33, allegedly threatened his girlfriend Darlin Romero but left when she called 911 to request assistance. Peralta was charged with criminal domestic violence. At a domestic violence hearing in August, Darlin Romero indicated to the court that she and Peralta were no longer together and she wished to stay that way.

Jump forward to Sunday and Darlin Romero’s friend and co-worker 30-year-old Rosa Merida is believed to have received a call requesting assistance because of problems at Romero’s home. When she arrived at the home, she was concerned enough to call her teenage son and request that he call 911. Rosa Merida did not speak English and usually relied on her son to take care of translating for her.

Police picked up the teen and responded to the home where they found sheriff’s deputies already there. Allegedly Astreverto Peralta shot Darlin Romero and her son. The son’s name and age is not given, the only information being given is that he was between the ages of 3 and 10 years of age and was not related to Peralta. Rosa Merida had also been shot and then it is believed that Peralta turned the gun on himself.

Rosa Merida died of her gunshot wound, Darlin Romero was taken to the hospital where she is reported to be in serious condition but is expected to recover. Her son is reported to be in critical condition. Peralta also died from his self-inflicted gunshot wound.

The teen remained at the scene until his father arrived.

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Many times problems with not speaking the language will stop many persons from reporting domestic violence. And in this case it possibly caused delays in law enforcement response in that Merida had to call her son and explain to him, then he had to call 911 and explain to them. And all the while he is doing so, he is sitting at home wondering and worrying about how his mother and their friend were. Still and all, it does not take that long to shoot a gun. Probably even if Rosa Merida were able to make the call herself it would have been too late.

Darlin Romero tried. She made the first report of violence. She followed through by going to court. Certainly that would have been frightening for anyone, but especially for someone who may have had problems with the language. She indicated that she did separate from Peralta and 7 months have gone by.

But even after separating and even after time passed, she was still not safe. Her friend is dead, her child critical and she is also injured. A teen who was reported to have been very close to his mother, has lost her.

Many who do leave carry that fear with them for a long time, and many have very good reason. A neighbor called this a needless death, and that is a good way to describe most domestic violence deaths. A separation seems traumatic at the time, but as time passes it is possible to move on, maybe even to find someone new. Yet for some, they would rather die themselves or go to prison than to let that relationship go.

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1 Comment

  1. wendy said,

    February 1, 2007 at 2:59 am

    My heart breaks for both of these women and their families. Although seven months had passed, she still wasn’t safe and this is the case for thousands upon thousands of victims of domestic violence. Sadly, it’s a catch 22 for many, staying in the abusive relationship leads to serious physical and emotional injuries, and even death; yet leaving places the victim at greater risk because they are essentially taking back the control over their lives that the abuser had taken away from them and in turn, the abuser goes to any lenght to regain that control. This case proves this theory quite clearly and adds an additional component with the tragic death of her friend who, I’m sure, was only trying to help.

    Serious safety precautions must be taken when severing the relationship and safety plans have to constantly be re-evaluated and revised because circumstances change constantly.


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