Zachary Cruz, brother of Parkland shooter, arrested for alleged probation violation
Police have arrested Zachary Cruz, the younger brother of Parkland, Florida, school shooter Nikolas Cruz, for allegedly violating the terms of his probation.
Zachary Cruz was booked Tuesday night into Palm Beach County Jail, according to the jail website.
According to an arrest warrant issued Tuesday, Cruz, 18, violated his probation on Saturday by operating a Kia SUV without a driver’s license and being close to a school where he was not enrolled.
The Broward County Sheriff’s Office told CNN that one of Cruz’s caretakers called them because they were concerned that he was driving without a license.
Cruz was spotted early Saturday afternoon about 25 feet from the west parking lot of Park Vista Community High School in Lake Worth, Florida, according to law enforcement documents.
The warrant indicates two possible violations of the probation order: One related to not breaking the law in general and another that Cruz avoid school campuses.
David Scharf, executive director of community programs for the Broward County Sheriff’s Office, witnessed Saturday’s alleged violations, according to the warrant.
“We adamantly deny these new allegations and look forward to defending our position in court,” said Cruz’s attorney, Mark S. Lowry, on Wednesday.
When contacted by CNN, Cruz’s former attorney questioned whether Cruz violated the condition about being too close to a school.
“He was ordered not to actually go on any schools. So they (the sheriff’s office) should not be violating him for going near a school when he was never ordered not to do that,” Cruz’s former defense attorney, Joseph Kimok, told CNN. Kimok represented Cruz on the original trespassing charge.
Saturday’s arrest came six weeks after Cruz was arrested March 19 on a misdemeanor trespassing charge at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, where his brother fatally shot 17 people on February 14. After his arrest, the younger Cruz told police he wanted to “reflect on the school shooting and soak it in,” according to an arrest report.
At a March 29 court hearing, Zachary Cruz was sentenced to six months probation.
He was also ordered to wear a GPS monitor and to remain at least a mile away from the Marjory Stoneman Douglas campus. He also was forbidden from having any contact with victims of the mass shooting or their family members.
His older brother, Nikolas Cruz, 19, faces numerous charges, including murder, for the shooting. Prosecutors have said they will seek the death penalty.