Miami Mayor Accused of Hitting Wife

ByABC News
February 8, 2001, 10:22 AM

M I A M I, Feb. 8 -- Mayor Joe Carollo spent the night in jail despitehis wife's efforts to convince authorities that her husband didn'twish to hurt her when he hit her in the head with a tea canister.

Maria Ledon Carollo, 42, told police her husband struck her inthe head with a terra-cotta canister Wednesday. Carollo, 45, wascharged with simple battery.

Carollo spent the night at the North Dade Detention Center in a6-by-6-foot windowless cell, said Janelle Hall, a Miami-Dade CountyCorrections spokeswoman.

He was expected to be released today after a bond hearing.

Carollo was arrested after a girl identified by police as one ofhis daughters made a frantic 911 call, saying, "Come help! My dadis hurting my mom."

According to the arrest report, officers who went to the homefound Mrs. Carollo with a golf ball-sized lump on her left temple.The mayor had two scratches behind his left ear.

Mrs. Carollo wanted to press charges against her husband butlater changed her mind, said police Lt. Bill Schwartz. Policedecided to file charges anyway.

No Preferential Treatment

Lawyers for Carollo and his wife had asked a family court judgefor an emergency bond hearing so the mayor would not have to spendthe night in jail.

Mrs. Carollo issued a statement through her lawyer, saying,"Under no circumstances did my husband intend to harm or injureme."

But Judge Mark King Leban refused the request.

"I see no reason to treat Mr. Carollo differently than anyoneelse," he said.

"Mayor Carollo has been singled out for much more serioustreatment because of who he is," Ben Kuehne, Carollo's attorney,said afterward.

The jailing violated a pre-arrest agreement with police andprosecutors that the mayor would charged, given the emergencyhearing and released without spending the night in jail, Kuehnesaid. He said authorities backed out of the agreement because theywere "scared" of looking like they were giving the mayor specialtreatment.

After Arrest, Business as Usual