Doral

Doral witness accused of giving false information turns himself in

 

jflechas@MiamiHerald.com

A witness charged with giving false information to Doral police turned himself in Friday morning in the case involving a Venezuelan businessman who accused City Manager Joe Carollo of grabbing him forcibly at City Hall two weeks ago.

Javier Bellón, a witness named in the initial statement given to police by the businessman, Juan Carlos Tovar, went to the Doral police department before 10 a.m. Friday to surrender after police said he gave them false information as they investigated Tovar’s claims.

Doral police had been trying to contact Bellón since Tuesday to discuss his surrender, Police Chief Richard Blom said, adding that no other arrests are expected.

“There’s nobody else,” he said.

Bellón, an associate of Tovar, can be seen in footage, which Doral police released Wednesday, from a security camera inside City Hall. In the video, Bellón is seen talking with Tovar before Tovar interacts with Carollo behind locked glass doors. Bellón then walks away.

Tovar is charged with falsifying a police report over the Carollo incident. In the report, filed two weeks ago, Tovar told police that Carollo grabbed him and called him, in Spanish, a “Venezuelan piece of sh--.’’

Tovar surrendered to police Wednesday and was released on $1,000 bond from Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center. The charge is a misdemeanor and carries a sentence of up to one year in jail.

Tovar is a former client of Doral Mayor Luigi Boria and a former business partner of Boria’s two grown children.

The incident occurred on Sept. 25th, shortly after the City Council approved a zoning change that benefitted one of Tovar’s real-estate projects.

Tovar, in the police report, said Carollo had pulled him into a room on the third floor of City Hall.

In the surveillance video, Tovar and Carollo do not touch. Tovar enters a room after Carollo opens the door for him, and there is no visible struggle.

After Tovar enters the room, Bellón is seen on the video approaching the doors and taking a cellphone out of his pocket. It appears as though Bellón recorded what was occurring behind the doors.

The tape does not show what happened behind the closed doors. Tovar later could not demonstrate to police how he claimed he was pushed or pulled, according to his arrest affidavit.

Blom said Thursday police investigators contacted Bellón’s lawyer to discuss his surrender.

When reached by phone, Bellón said he and his lawyer had no comment.

Follow @joeflech on Twitter.

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