“He can be an incredibly paranoid person,’’ said Haga. “He used to make wild accusations about my sister, everything from being a prostitute to a spy. I think he even started to believe these stories...Saying it’s a contentious divorce is the understatement of year.”
As the marriage began to crumble, Simione started “doing crazy things,” said Haga, including putting a GPS tracker on the truck and flattening the tires.
In February, May tried to leave. Her brother flew in from California. With their mother and Jett, they piled into the Range Rover that friends say Simione bought for his wife, and took off.
“She feared for [Jett’s] life,’’ said Haga.
Jason Simione told friends he was worried May would take the baby and flee to Japan. He found her teen-age passport, so old it is now void.
May Simione filed a restraining order against her husband, saying she was a victim of domestic violence.
She wrote that her husband threatened her: “If you ever take the baby away, I will kill you, I will kill you.”
She also wrote that Simione “threatened to make my mom cry, beat my brother and kill his mother. He literally packed his truck with guns, ammo to kill his mom.... I think he is unstable, unsafe, maybe extreme bipolar.”
It wasn’t the first time someone had accused Simione of having a mental illness.
In December 2006, Hollywood police responded to a domestic complaint, filed by Donna Peplin, who identified herself as Simione’s mother.
Peplin’s photography business is right next to Simione’s Bulldog Tactical Equipment, 3706 SW 30th Ave., in a warehouse complex. Peplin told police that her son, whose company makes gear for the military and rescue squads, had sprayed the fire extinguisher all over the floor and furniture and poured oil on the walls. Peplin said “she was afraid of her son due to him having been diagnosed with a mental disorder,” the officer wrote in his report. Peplin said her son is on medication, but he was not taking it. The officer wrote he advised Simione to stay on his side of the business and not enter his mother’s establishment.
A woman identifying herself as Peplin’s assistant said last week Peplin wasn’t talking to the media.
A dangerous father?
On April 18, the court dismissed May Simione’s protective order request. She sought a new protective order on Aug. 10 for herself and Jett.
She told them reports had been filed to BSO and the Department of Children and Families.
“My son has been abused and neglected by his father,” she wrote in the report. “He has absolutely no respect or a care for his life or safety.”
This came after an incident earlier in the week in which her husband, holding Jett, had gotten into a fight with one of his employees. May Simione had not witnessed it, but heard from others that her husband threw the baby onto a table, causing the child to get a gash in his head.
“Child services is working on this. There has [sic] been many witnesses,” she wrote.
Jason Simione told his cigar buddies about the same fight. He said he was reprimanding an employee for smoking pot when the fight began. Simione said he fired the worker.
That’s about when another employee contacted May and her brother, telling them Simione had offered to pay him $150,000 to find a hit man to murder them.
May Simione also told BSO her estranged husband was “addicted to steroids and in a rage will do anything.”
But when police searched the Dania Beach home, they didn’t find any steroids, only a prescription testosterone supplement and an over-the-counter “super vitamin” which is mainly given to race horses, said BSO Det. Ricky Libman.
Jason, who is 5-foot-8 and 252 pounds, gets his bulk and strength from hitting a speed bag for two hours a day, a friend says.
He talked constantly about love and marriage to this friend. Just days before his arrest he “still imagined he would get back with his wife,” the friend said. “He would write letters to his wife about his thoughts and about getting counseling together.’’ Simione finally filed for divorce after weeks of his friends telling him to do so, said the cigar-smoking buddy. “He dragged his feet on this because he was ever hopeful for a happy family.’’
Haga said he believes Simione loves his sister and son. But he also thinks Simione is capable of dangerous things.
“I don’t doubt for a second that he would hurt anybody — including his son.”
May Simione has filed for an injunction to freeze her husband’s assets. Her fear, her brother said, is he could come up with the $5 million bond to get out of jail.
The courts will hold a hearing on the issue Aug. 22.