The mother of two young girls who were slain by their father has sued Chief Timothy Damon of the York Area Regional Police of Pennsylvania. The woman, who has not been named by authorities, claimed Damon “blocked” for 18 hours the service of an emergency PFA (Protection From Abuse) order on her estranged husband.
It is not known when Robert Vicosa, kidnapped his children and went on the run with a female accomplice named Tia Bynum. Thus, it is impossible to say whether the emergency PFA could have been served before Vicosa and Bynum took flight with his children.
What is known is that the emergency PFA was signed by a district judge at 8:56 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 14. The PFA was ordered based on the woman's complaint that she had been falsely imprisoned at gunpoint and sexually assaulted Friday night, Nov. 12, through sometime during the day of Sunday, Nov. 14.
According to a timeline produced by the York Daily Record, the PFA was not served at Vicosa's home in the Windsor Township until 3:28 p.m. Monday, Nov. 15. Vicosa, the children, Bynum, and Vicosa's guns were gone.
“At approximately 3 a.m. on [Monday, Nov. 15], I was informed by two York Area Regional Police Officers that the chief of police put a stop to this order,” the mother wrote in a citizen’s complaint. “I am given no explanation for the stop and am still unaware of the reason for stopping the order. In the meantime, my two daughters continue to be in the custody of their father, who is a danger to them, me, and himself.”
Chief Damon did not respond to the complaint. The entire investigation has been turned over to the Pennsylvania Attorney General's Office.
Desperate Manhunt Ends in a Ditch
Over the next several days, police agencies from Pennsylvania, Maryland, and the U.S. Marshalls Service hunted the fugitives. Police officials publicly begged Vicosa and Bynum to release Aaminah, 6, and Giana, 7.
Finally, Thursday, Nov. 18, the kidnappers were spotted driving stolen car on a rural West Maryland road. After a short pursuit, the car drifted of the road and crashed. Apparently, Vicosa shot Bynum while she was driving and then killed his daughters and himself.
If law enforcement had able to serve Vicosa with the PFA, the tragedy would likely have been prevented. The officers serving PFA had the duty to either escort Vicosa away from the property immediately or arrest him if he resisted.
What to Do If Served with a PFA
“It's never a good idea to run,” said veteran criminal defense attorney Joseph D. Lento. While Vicosa faced serious felony counts for the alleged imprisonment and assault on his wife, a vigorous defense could have mitigated the charges against him—and “nobody would be dead.”
If you or a loved one has been served with a PFA, comply with the court order immediately and completely. Don't hesitate, call 888-535-3686 as soon as possible. You only have 10 business days to defend yourself in court. The Lento Law Firm can help.