Sixty-three year old resident of Oakland Park, Maria Ouveryney, immigrated from Brazil to the United States over thirty years ago. Ouveryney cleaned homes for a living and enjoyed being a part of the City of Oakland Park’s feral cat program. Each night after work she would go to McDonald’s on the corner of Oakland Park Blvd and NW 31st Ave to feed a colony of feral cats. She worked hard and lived a simple, low-key and safe life until last week when she was violently beaten and carjacked.
According to a person close to Ouveryney, she had seen the suspect, Antonino Santo Romano, at the McDonalds before the incident on January 17, 2021. That Sunday at around 7pm as she was getting ready to leave to McDonald’s to head home, 28 year old Antonino Santo Romano violently hit Ouveryney over the head with something. Ouveryney does not know what she was hit with. All she know is that she immediately fainted and when she woke up she was in front of the McDonald’s being aided by paramedics. Police had already arrived on the scene as well.
Ouveryney was transported to the hospital where she was treated for severe injuries. She has broken bones in her face and is unable to talk or stand or walk properly. Doctors are waiting for the swelling in her face to go down to be able to perform surgery on the broken bones in her face. An MRI revealed that there was no bleeding in her brain although her normal functioning in impaired. Doctors anticipate Ouveryney will remain in the hospital for at least three weeks, perhaps more.
Ouveryney, better known as Salete by her friends and family, has been a friend of my family’s for nearly as long as she has lived in the United States. She is a kind and gentle soul, always willing to help a person or animals in need. This crime has severely impacted her ability to pay her regular living expenses, not to mention her hospital bills. She is going to need financial assistance until she can fully recover and begin working again. Any money you can contribute, I assure you will be going to a wonderful person who truly deserves a helping hand at this time.
To contribute to Ouveryney’s recovery fund, click here.
Ouveryney’s car, a Mazda 3, was found abandoned in Lauderhill. Just three days after the carjacking on January 20th, Romano was apprehended in St. Lucie County. Broward County Sheriff is working with St. Lucie County Sheriff’s Office where Romano is currently been detained. Roman has been charged with one count of attempted felony murder and one count of carjacking without a firearm or weapon.
According to BSO Lt. Feeley, Romano will be back in Broward County in about two weeks after he is formally extradited from St. Lucie County. He will appear in front of a judge to be arraigned and charged for crime. Feeley further commented that the case against Romano is very strong.
While it is certainly a relief for Ouveryney that Romano has been apprehended, how many years he will be spend in prison for this crime remains to be seen.
EDITOR, PUBLISHER, WRITER, PHOTOGRAPHER, REALTOR®
Désirée Ávila has called Oakland Park her home for over 33 years. In addition to publishing LivingInOaklandPark.com, Désirée has been featured in print publications, locally and abroad. Désirée was an award winning teacher for 10 years and has a doctoral level education in Educational Technology. She is currently a licensed Florida Realtor® and is committed to a high-level of professionalism.
Désirée consistently professionally develops herself and has earned several different professional designations and certifications in real estate including the PSA, e-Pro, AHWD, SRS, ABR, and SFR. She was also awarded the C2EX, Commitment to Excellence award by the National Association for Realtors (NAR). This award is given to Realtors® that distinguish themselves for their commitment to excellence in the real estate industry.
She is esteemed by her real estate colleagues and has consistently received 5 star reviews from her clients. Her philosophy about real estate is that being a Realtor® is a way of teaching and helping people, and in the process a real estate transaction may occur, that is to say her foremost priority is and has always been about helping others.
She is dedicated to her hometown of Oakland Park and works consistently on building and fostering a strong community. She is passionate about photography and loves to read books about history ; the more detail the better! In addition to English, Désirée is fluent in Portuguese, Spanish, French and Italian.
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