Monique Hansman & surviving children try to rebuild their lives
PORT ST. LUCIE, Florida––Behind every story of a fatal or disfiguring dog attack is a story of injustice that will be suffered by the victims and survivors for the rest of their lives even if the physical scars heal.
Usually the attacks occur because the dog owner acted with what courts of law describe as “depraved indifference toward human life,” and often toward animal life too.
Typically the depravity begins with acquiring a dog or dogs of known dangerous breed and disposition, continues with allowing the dog or dogs to run amok, terrorizing neighbors and sometimes family, and culminates in the death or disfigurement of someone who had tried desperately not to become a victim, but was unable to get public officials to act promptly, decisively, on the side of prevention.
Typically, the law is on the side of the dog
Typically the law is on the side of the dangerous dog and dog owner, until reckless and menacing behavior finally has irrevocable consequences.
Then, after people and animals are killed and disfigured, the victimization frequently continues. Defenders of dangerous dogs invariably blame the dead and injured for their own suffering, attack survivors through social media, and sometimes strut similar dogs through the neighborhoods where fatal and disfiguring attacks have occurred.
Apologies are few, compensation comes only through the courts after years of litigation, and more often than not, court-ordered settlements are never fully paid, if paid at all.
Bull mastiff attack was just the beginning
For Monique Hansman, 53, the injuries began on March 4, 2020, when she was injured by a free-roaming bull mastiff named Roxy, owned by neighbors Ronald and Sandra DelSerro, 82 and 78, respectively.
(See Girl, 11, & father killed over a bull mastiff? Race horses involved too?)
Roxy was also alternately described as a bull mastiff and an Italian mastiff, a term also used to describe cane corsos and Neopolitan mastiffs.
Whatever Roxy was, she was a big, powerful, notoriously ill-behaved dog who was in the act of attacking Rucca, the Hansman family’s leashed Labradoodle, when Monique Hansman intervened.
“It was a severe attack.”
“The dog did bite me. It was not just a simple bite. It was a severe attack,” Monique Hansman told Brandon Lopez of Steve King of WPBF.
Monique Hansman testified later in court that Roxy bit her arm and ear, inflicting a gash to her head, for which she was treated at St. Lucie Medical Center. Her 11-year-old daughter Harper Hansman witnessed the attack, and also testified about it.
Repeated violations of a home quarantine order and at least two other instances of Roxy running at large followed, before finally, on July 6, 2020, four months after Monique Hansman was mauled, Ronald and Sandra DelSerro were finally issued a dangerous animal citation and fined $500 by City of Port St. Lucie Animal Control.
But instead of keeping Roxy properly fenced, as the dangerous animal citation belatedly required, Ronald DelSerro came home from court, grabbed two handguns, walked next door, and shot Guy Hansman, 55, Monique’s husband and sweetheart since she was 10 years old.
Ronald DelSerro then shot Harper Hansman. And then, under police siege, Ronald DelSerro shot himself, never to face even a semblance of legal justice.
Now, Monique Hansman protested to her Facebook page on September 5, 2020, the DelSerro family “are selling the home [where the DelSerros lived] and not telling potential buyers the murderer Ronald DelSerro lived there. They filed a police report when I told a young couple whose house it was. Potential buyers have the right to know!”
“Don’t help a murderer’s estate/trust profit”
Monique Hansman did not leave the matter there. She put up a sign on her lawn, near the DelSerro property line, explaining that, “On 7/6/20 Ronald DelSerro, who lived at 2499 Morningside, murdered my husband and child. He purchased the house for 125k and is selling for 270k. Buying that house is contributing to a murderer! Don’t help a murderer’s estate/trust profit off his heinous crimes! #JusticeforGuyandHarper.”
This was at least the third time Monique Hansman had expressed her frustration with how she and her family appear to have been abandoned to grief and loss.
The Hansman family have been represented since July 22, 2020 by Trey Lytal, a partner at the West Palm Beach law firm of Lytal, Reiter, Smith, Ivey & Fronrath, but years may elapse before their case goes to court or is settled with any sort of reparations.
Monique Hansman remembers
Posted Monique Hansman in her most recent previous Facebook message, on August 19, 2020, “On 7/6, my next door neighbor Ronald Delserro walked into my home via the garage and shot my husband 4 times, killing him. Guy tried to protect his family but was helpless against a man with two nine millimeter handguns and pockets full of magazines. Ronald DelSerro then methodically went thru my home trying to kill the kids and I. As he was shooting at us, Keegan [a Hansman son] and I escaped downstairs.
“My 11 yr old daughter who was upstairs took the brunt of him [Ronald DelSerro] that day. He tortured her before murdering her.
“I lost my family, my home, and my life that day,” Monique Hansman continued. “My home is destroyed with $80,000 in damage due to 100 rounds of ammo being fired in there. My house is also worthless because two people were murdered inside. His house,” Monique Hansman noted, is “Up for sale and being inspected by a potential family yesterday. He paid $125,000 and [his estate] is selling for $270,000.
“Where is there justice?”
“His estate will profit. My family? Total loss. Loss of life, loss of income, loss of home, everything. His family waved and smiled at me yesterday, while at their home. Not only did he have zero regard for life, but neither do they. Not one person from his family has reached out to even acknowledge that he destroyed our lives, apologize, or offer condolences. Disgusting!
“The claim is they are broke, yet they have a trust fund,” Monique Hansman noted. “The wife (whom I can’t discuss due to an open and active police investigation) fled to Pennsylvania, where they own multiple businesses and homes. She has not had to deal with the media stalking her, people driving by and taking her picture, or being homeless.
“I have spent tens of thousands trying to bury my family, find a place to lay our heads, and stabilize ourselves. Where is there justice for Guy and Harper? Where is there accountability for the DelSerros?
Why no coverage in DelSerros’ home town?
“There has not been one article or news report in the Bethlehem, Pennsylvania area about their hometown business owner/hero being a murderer,” Monique Hansman said. “Why not?”
Actually there was one––but it was only three sentences long, broadcast by several radio and television stations in the Lehigh Valley of Pennsylvania on the day of the killings.
Afterward, one reporter from the area complimented ANIMALS 24-7 for our extensive investigative coverage, but apparently made no use of the many leads we furnished about potential local angles.
“Why won’t anyone address that the dog was used as a weapon?”
“Why won’t anyone address the fact that the dog was used as a weapon to keep us hostage in our own home?” Monique Hansman asked, a complaint ANIMALS 24-7 has encountered time and again in similar cases––for instance, the February 7, 2014 death of Klonda Richey, 57, in Montgomery County, Ohio. Richey, 57, was killed by her next door neighbors’ two dogs, variously identified in court documents as “large-breed pit bulls, mastiffs, or Cane Corsos.”
Klonda Richey “made approximately 13 calls to the Montgomery County Regional Dispatch Center and at least 11 calls to the Animal Resource Center, seeking protection from the dogs who killed her in the months before her death,” summarized Dayton Daily News staff writer Chris Stewart.
“Richey was so scared of the dogs,” Stewart wrote, “that she installed a fence between the two houses, put up a security camera to monitor when the dogs were off leash, and sought a civil protection order [against the dogs’ owner], which was denied.”
(See Montgomery County to pay $3.5 million to survivors of Klonda Richey.)
“I don’t blame their dog, I blame them!”
Demanded Monique Hansman, “Why is it that when I called my city officials for months (mayors office, city attorney, animal control, and police) and told them how dangerous they [the DelSerros and their dog Roxy] were, they did nothing? Why is it that the dog caused me to have a $22,000 hospital bill and a $1,000 vet bill, but everyone feels sorry for their dog?” who was euthanized at request of Sandra DelSerro two days after Guy and Harper Hansman were murdered.
“I don’t blame their dog, I blame them!” Monique Hansman stipulated. “It wasn’t on a leash, and she couldn’t control it. Bad owner.”
Monique Hansman in her August 19, 2020 statement made clear that she holds Sandra DelSerro as well as Ronald DelSerro responsible for the string of incidents preceding the murders.
“We lived like prisoners”
“The day before he murdered half my family,” Monique Hansman said, Sandra DelSerro “called the police (as they repeatedly did to harass us) to complain our truck was parked partially on the easement. We did that so they couldn’t see us when we were outside! We constantly had to hide from them! We hid for months. We lived like prisoners in our own home and then Ronald Delserro murdered them, all over a $500 fine and a requirement to put up signs on the fence saying the dog was dangerous. He murdered my husband and child over $500 bucks and a sign.”
Monique Hansman asked sympathizers to “Call the Bethlehem, Pennsylvania papers and ask why they refuse to report on this story that has had national attention. Please call [Port St. Lucie] officals and ask why they did nothing to protect us.
“I can’t get my family back,” Monique Hansman said. “But I will fight for the rest of my life to ensure that the City of Port St. Lucie and the DelSerro family never forget Guy and Harper Hansman and what they did to them!”
Mayor lived on same block & did nothing
Monique Hansman reserved particular contempt for Port St. Lucie mayor Gregory J. Oravec, whose Facebook page boasts that during his tenure, beginning in 2014, Port St. Lucie has been “named the safest large city in Florida, one of the 25 most desirable places to live in the U.S., one of the 12 best places to live near a beach in the U.S., and the winner of the 2019 Voice of the People Award.”
Oravec, Monique Hansman mentioned, “lives on my block and ignored my pleas for help, yet showed up at my private family viewing after being told I had no desire to meet with him. Ask him why he ignored my concerns, what he will do to ensure this doesn’t happen again in his city and on his block, and why he was so disrespectful to show up at a private family viewing?”
ANIMALS 24-7 found no record that Oravec has so far done anything “to ensure this doesn’t happen again in his city and on his block,” and had previously reported (on May 11, 2019) about the dismal Port St. Lucie record in response to dangerous dogs.
(See Why did pit bull & Malinois victims Liquori & Hazel die alone?)
“Every memory I had is destroyed”
Monique Hansman earlier expressed her grief eloquently to WPBF television reporters Brandon Lopez and Steve King.
“I haven’t heard her voice in two weeks,” Monique Hansman said of Harper during the July 23, 2020 broadcast. “I haven’t had a text or a phone call from my husband. You just wait for them to come around the corner, and it’s like they’re not gone, but they’re gone and you know it.
“I walk in that house and every memory I had is destroyed,” Monique Hansman explained. “So it’s losing them, it’s losing our life, it’s losing our memories, it’s just unbearable.”
The killings remained fresh in Monique Hansman’s memory, and likely always will.
“They didn’t hear me”
“When we were running to get out the door,” she told Lopez and King, “I was yelling for the girls to jump out the window because they were upstairs, but our house is large and they never heard me. I knew he [Ronald DelSerro] was downstairs coming after us and we were screaming for them to jump out the window but they didn’t hear me. They didn’t hear me,” said Hansman.
Monique Hansman gratefully remembered a neighbor who “hid us in his garage,” but that reminded her again of how her husband, Guy Hansman, “engaged the shooter so people could escape. He was a good person who provided for his family and on his very last day he gave his life for us,” she said.
Harper Hansman, meanwhile, “said some things to the gunman,” that bought time for a ten-year-old friend of hers to escape.
“My daughter was brave beyond her years,” Monique Hansman said, “and I’m just so incredibly proud of her for the things that she did that day,” including calling the police while Ronald DelSerro was hunting her down.
Praised police and son
While Monique Hansman feels Port St. Lucie mayor Oravec and other officials let her family down, she praised Port St. Lucie police officers Trevor Horten, Bret LaGrega and Michael Williams plus St. Lucie County deputy Doris Tracey for “running in with this man shooting a lot of bullets at them to save us.”
Monique Hansman also praised her 13-year-old son, who “heard the shots and saw [DelSerro] with a gun and yelled. If he didn’t recognize [DelSerro] and he didn’t yell, we wouldn’t be here.
“I have no sense of being safe,” Monique Hansman admitted. “None. I have been alone once since this happened and I started to freak out. He murdered my family and I have no home and I have no sense of feeling secure at all. You just live in fear. I have not slept with the lights off at all. Somebody came into my house and took my family, all because my garage door was open. My front door was locked.”
A breast cancer survivor, Monique Hansman recalled how Harper “took care of me when I was sick,” and “fostered a little bunny,” who had “medical issues and would only go to her and she would give the bunny medicine. She always wanted to help somebody or an animal or something. That’s just who she was.”
Concluded Monique Hansman, to Lopez and King, “I want people to know that we’re not just the family who got murdered over the dog. My family is not about a dog and this incident isn’t about a dog.
“They were good people and they deserve to be remembered for who they were and not how they died. Guy and Harper were real people, who contributed to our community and made an impact on people’s lives, who were a family and they were loved.”
Monique Hansman says
Thank you. I am in awe.. My attorney asked If i gave an interview and when I said no he was in disbelief. So many people have sent the article to me so I posted it to my facebook page. I hope you dont mind!! I can never thank you enough. You shared exactly how I feel. Heartbreak, frustration, disillusioned, but most of all unheard until your article. Thank you!! Thank You!! Thank You.❤
Susan Libby says
I hope someone is starting up a GoFundMe site for Harper. Also hope that this poor woman can sue the pants off the family of this angry butter crazy old man, although I doubt she has the strength to do this for herself right now..others will have to step up.
A horror movie…unfortunately…come to life.
Jamaka Petzak says
Absolutely agree with the two posters before me.
“…Then, after people and animals are killed and disfigured, the victimization frequently continues. Defenders of dangerous dogs invariably blame the dead and injured for their own suffering, attack survivors through social media, and sometimes strut similar dogs through the neighborhoods where fatal and disfiguring attacks have occurred.”
This brings to mind accounts of the planned march through predominantly Jewish Skokie, IL of members of the American Nazis:
This is a society that punishes the victim. That is the reality. In the dog-eat-dog world of the strong against the weak, we know who the winner will be.
Why are authorities ignoring these injustices? Why are dog owners being coddled beyond all reason? Is it blackmail or threats from misanthropic animal rights organizations which enable dogfighters and other blood sports?
When are we going to admit that America is being run by sociopathic slumlords?
The golden rule is to do unto others as you would have them do unto you. How many people wanted to be treated as if they’re worth less than dogs? That is our current state in society.
Dog worship culture is worse than even rape culture as far as victim blaming goes. Dogs have this false reputation of being germ free, pure, and wise enough to judge the character of others. This. Is. Insane.
Annoula Wylderich says
So sad to see that they were failed by so many – from their elected officials to the media that downplayed this tragedy.
That story is so awful. I remember reading the news accounts and thinking it was the worst, nightmare scenario of a violent dog plus a lunatic neighbor. Reading this, from the voice of the victim, is terrible.