WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Justice never takes a holiday.
Someone who is arrested is entitled to see a judge within 24 hours, no matter the holiday.
On Christmas Day, Palm Beach County State Attorney Dave Aronberg took it upon himself to work, so his employees could spend Christmas with their families.
“I wanted to be here on Christmas because I wanted to do a thank you to my staff,” Aronberg said. “I just have an amazing team that keeps the community safe every day. I wanted to be here in person, so they could enjoy the holiday with their families.”
There are about 200 members of Aronberg’s staff and pretty much all of them had today off except for a small team who worked with Aronberg on Tuesday.
He said crime makes no exception for Christmas, so first appearance court must go on.
“Courts are open every day of the year, even during hurricanes,” he said.
Aronberg says he sees more domestic violence crimes around this time of year.
“It’s the dark side of the holiday season, combustible situations with alcohol involved,” Aronberg said.
This year was unique because of a high-profile case involving a suspect accused of gunning down a K9 officer at the Wellington Mall on Christmas Eve. Justin Vasquez was due in court and Aronberg saw him face to face.
“To see the defendant here in court just a few hours later was to me important for the protection of the community to make sure the proper bond was imposed, and in this case no bond,” Aronberg said. “Unfortunately, you’re going to have incidents like this that will upset people and create big headlines, but I just want to assure people that the community is safe.”
Aronberg has this message for any potential criminals this holiday season.
“Hopefully this will be a lesson to people in the future: enjoy the holiday and Christmas season, but don’t overdo it,” Aronberg said.