Nicholas Dagostino hated female drivers, authorities say, so much so that he shot them while they were driving.
Police in Texas linked Dagostino to two recent shootings in which women said they were shot in the arm. Both incidents happened in broad daylight, within a few miles of each other in the Katy area of Harris County, west of Houston. And both involved a suspect – Dagostino – who claimed he shot the women in self-defense, according to criminal complaints.
But social media ramblings indicate that Dagostino “held a very dim view of women,” believed female drivers are “incompetent,” and that their sole purpose “is to give birth to male children,” investigators wrote in court documents.
Dagostino, 29, is facing two felony charges of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.
His defense attorney, Kenneth Mingledorff, said that statements police made about Dagostino’s hatred against women are merely assumptions.
“There’s a lot being said. Nobody knows that for a fact,” Mingledorff told The Washington Post on Saturday. “I’ve seen no evidence of that at all. A lot of assumptions are being made, and we’ll work through all that.”
He added that his client needs psychological help, though he did not elaborate further.
“We’re very sorry for the people involved,” Mingledorff said, referring to the injured women. “[Dagostino’s] family wants them to know that they’re concerned about them and we’re going to do what we can to make sure that this never happens again.”
The most recent shooting happened on July 10, at a carwash in Katy. The victim told police that she was pulling into the carwash when she heard a noise and saw that her driver’s-side window was cracked. She assumed it had been hit by a rock, but she later saw blood dripping down her arm, court records say.
Surveillance footage showed a green Ford Explorer, possibly a 1996 to 2000 model, next to the woman’s car when she was shot. Police later found the vehicle’s owner, Dagostino, who lived nearby. He told police that he shot the woman because she swerved into his lane, and that he did so in self-defense, court records say.
He also admitted shooting at vehicles five other times in the past.
Investigators learned of another shooting that happened a few months earlier, on March 7, at a gas station just three miles away from the carwash. The victim told police she was leaving a gas station when she heard a loud noise and felt pain in her right arm. Then, she told police, she saw a man in a dark green older-model SUV looking at her as he drove by, as if he was checking to see if he had shot her, court records say.
Dagostino admitted to police that he also shot the woman at the gas station because she struck his vehicle and swerved into his lane, court records say.
Dagostino is being held on a $200,000 bail for each of the two charges, Harris County jail records show. Prosecutors had asked for at least a $250,000 bail, arguing that Dagostino is a threat “to female motorists” in the area.
(c) 2018, The Washington Post · Kristine Phillips