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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

Files charged in Las Golondrinas protest shooting case

By The Star Staff

Justice Secretary Domingo Emanuelli Hernández announced recently that the Aguadilla Prosecutor’s Office filed charges against César A. Toledo Mantilla, the private security guard who allegedly shot a protester near Las Golondrinas cave.

Toledo Mantilla faces charges of attempted murder, illegally firing a firearm, and risk to public order or safety by firing a gun in an open space, all violations of the Penal Code of Puerto Rico and the Weapons Law.

After the defendant accepted the court’s determination, Judge Rolando Matos found cause for arrest and set bail at $30,000. The judge scheduled a preliminary hearing for April 3 in Aguadilla Superior Court.

“The Public Ministry is prepared to prove this case because it results from a thorough and responsible investigation” the Justice secretary said. “Cases are taken to court when ready to meet the rigor and quantum of evidence required by our judicial process.”

According to the investigation, on Jan. 29, protesters began arriving at the Hacienda Pier property around noon. After several incidents between the people protesting in the area and security guards, employees of the company SJA Security Police Inc. and Toledo Mantilla fired an unknown number of shots, causing the situation to become more violent as protesters entered the area. Subsequently, police officers asked the protesters several times to leave the area, but some refused. Six people were arrested.

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