ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — 9 Investigates has confirmed a man involved in a standoff with Orange County deputies Sunday climbed onto a sign on the 417 the next day.
Law enforcement shut down both sides of the highway at Moss Park Road for roughly five hours Monday as Vincent Cody Tetro sat on a sign on a 417 bridge.
“We’re like, what? He can’t be the same person,” said Nicole Bazinet. “(Law enforcement) would never have that show of urgency for a situation and not resolve it. I just couldn’t believe it.”
Bazinet spoke about how she and others in the Isle of Pines neighborhood reacted when they learned the same man was involved in both situations.
On Sunday, Orange County deputies surrounded the home Tetro rented on Lake Mary Jane Road.
Court documents obtained by Channel 9 said Tetro was intentionally setting fires in the home.
When deputies arrived, he barricaded himself with a butcher’s knife and set more fires in front of deputies—including starting them on the wooden floors. The smoke became so strong, that documents say, deputies had to back out of the home. Deputies stayed outside, trying to negotiate with Tetro while he continued yelling at them through the window.
It’s unclear what happened next, but sometime on Oct. 29, Tetro fled the house and deputies, the Orange County Sheriff’s Office said.
“Why was he allowed to roam the neighborhood which he obviously did? Where did he go? He didn’t go back in the house. And there are women and children that walk their dogs at night. People are out walking around they’re in the golf carts,” said Fred Prassack.
Bazinet told Channel 9 that she and other neighbors are concerned because there’s only one way in and one way out of the neighborhood that’s heavily wooded and without fire hydrants.
The standoff on October 29 blocked off the neighborhood for at least 12 hours with the threat of fire and violence.
“A fire in our community would be devastating. He was left wandering for hours while our kids boarded buses, parents went to work and retirees walked the neighborhood confident the threat was over because the police left,” Bazinet said.
Hours later, on Monday afternoon, Tetro climbed to the top of the 417 sign. The road was closed for hours while deputies worked to get him down.
Channel 9 found this is not the only time this month that law enforcement has been in a situation like this with him.
On Oct. 18, Tetro climbed to the top of a Home Depot in Orange County. Deputies were eventually able to talk him down and placed him in a mental health facility under the Baker Act for up to 72 hours.
On Oct. 25, there was another incident in Osceola County where he was detained under the Baker Act again, court documents said.
The sheriff’s office claims, in all incidents in Orange County, Tetro was “not a danger to the public.” In the incident on Oct. 29, deputies said Tetro was confined to a home with no one else inside.
“I don’t understand how this gentleman was so dangerous and in such a mental capacity where he was so unpredictable. Why did they let him get away?” said Bazinet.
“How did he escape with so much law enforcement surrounding the house to include the SWAT team?” Prassack said.
The sheriff’s office declined to answer further questions, saying this is an open and active investigation. The Orange County Jail said Tetro is an undisclosed medical facility for now but will be transferred to the jail, where he faces a felony arson charge.
The State Attorney’s Office stated in court documents that Tetro is a danger to not only himself but others.
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