29-year-old Nicholas Gagostino was arrested on Thursday in connection with two recent shootings outside of Houston, Texas. According to police, Nicholas believes female drivers are ‘incompetent’ so he’s been shooting at them from the window of his green Ford Explorer.
He’s admitted to being responsible for five separate road rage incidents over the past few months, according to court filings.
via Buzzfeed News:
Officials had previously arrested Dagostino in July and charged him with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon after he allegedly shot a woman in her left arm while she was driving near a gas station by his house.
At the time, Dagostino told authorities that he shot the 39-year-old mother “in self defense” because she had “swerved twice into his lane.”
But, investigators say in court documents, his Facebook posts show that he has been “randomly” targeting female drivers on purpose because he “held a very dim view of women.”
In the filing, Harris County Sheriff Detective Dennis Palmer described posts where Dagostino “rants and rambles on about female motorists and how incompetent they are and that their sole purpose is to give brith to male children.”
His Instagram page showed photos of firearms, including a .45 caliber handgun, which authorities believe is the weapon used in the shootings, detectives said.
The 29-year-old is facing two felony charges of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, and is being held in jail on a $250,000 bond.
When searching his home, officers found a .45 Beretta handgun, which Dagostino confirmed was the firearm he had discharged at the woman.
Dagostino’s attorney, however, contests authorities’ assessment that his client is targeting women on the road because he hates them.
“There are a lot of misassumptions being made,” Kenneth Mingledorff told BuzzFeed News on Saturday. “There is absolutely no evidence that he hates women.”
Indignant, Mingledorff said that most of the statements made by authorities are “inadmissible in a court of law because he didn’t have a lawyer with him.” He also asserted that the Facebook posts should not be introduced as evidence.
“You can’t take something on Facebook and introduce it into a court of law,” he said. “That’s not fair. What if you went out to a party and did bad things and it was on your Facebook, and that was used in court against you? It’s unfair the way he has been treated.”
Mingledorff said he has not yet seen the Facebook posts.
Without going into detail, the attorney explained that his client has mental health issues and that he and his family are “getting him the help he needs and will take it from there.”
“His family and I are very, very sorry for the pain and suffering that anyone might have experienced here and we want to make sure he gets whatever treatment he needs,” he added.
Thursday’s arrest took place just a day after Dagostino walked out of jail on a $75,000 bond. According to court documents, detective Palmer had connected Dagostino with another, similar shooting that had occurred in March, just miles from the car wash where the suspect allegedly shot the other woman in July .
A woman who talked to police at the time told authorities that on March 7, she was leaving a Shell gas station when she heard a loud noise and felt a pain in her right arm. After she realized she had been shot, “she saw a white male in a dark green model sport utility vehicle looking at her as he drove by and that it appeared he was looking to see if he had hit her,” authorities said in the filing.
When questioned about the March shooting, Dagostino told authorities that he shot the woman because she purposefully “swerved at him.” So, he “‘discharged his weapon’ to stop what he perceived as a threat.”
Three months later, on July 10, a woman told police a similar story.
That afternoon, she was pulling into a car wash that visited regularly when she heard a “boom” and realized that her driver’s-side window was cracked, she said.
She thought it had been hit by a rock, but after getting out to survey the damage, she saw blood running down her arm and had been shot, she told police. The bullet went through her left arm and became lodged in her chest, where it still remains.
“You think about your family. I have two little kids,” the mother sobbed, speaking to ABC 13. “I was about to turn into the car wash and heard a boom and felt a something and just thought something hit my car.”
Surveillance video showed the same green Ford explorer driving by the woman’s car with its window open and then, a quick movement like a “muzzle flash.”
“Just a few more inches and it could have been a fatal wound,” Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez said. “She’s very lucky she survived her injuries.”
Watch the video below.