19-year-old arrested for Lehigh home invasion connected to Miami Beach police chase from early 2021

Reporter: Chris Cifatte, Gail Levy Writer: Drew Hill
Published: Updated:

A 19-year-old man that was arrested for a home invasion is connected to a police chase from the east coast in February of this year.

When Isariel Delestre appeared in court on Thursday, his charges in Miami-Dade county were mentioned.

Miami Beach Police say that in February, Delestre was the driver that led police on a wild chase. People were walking through the streets at the time.

Police say he tried to hit officers who were on their motorcycles at the time and eventually did hit one of them. He then abandoned the car and let a 15-year-old drive. People were afraid for their lives and began running.

This week, Delestre was arrested for a home invasion in Lehigh Acres. Investigators, in this case, say he pulled a gun on a man while inside his home. WINK News then learned Delestre was there to buy marijuana.

There was also a 5-year-old boy present at the time.

With such serious charges stacking up against Delestre here and on the east coast, some wonder if it is possible for a young man like this to be rehabilitated. WINK News took that question to the experts.

WINK asked a mental health counselor and a former law enforcement officer if a young man with such an extensive criminal background could change. While they say it would be difficult, if he wanted to it wouldn’t be impossible.

Dr. Laura Streyffeler is a mental health counselor. “I like to believe that anybody, if they’re willing to do the work can make changes,” she said.

But, at this point, for someone like Delestre, the mental work and rehabilitation is a challenge. “When you have a pattern of felony behavior, especially violent felony behavior, even when you willing to do the work, it becomes much more difficult,” said Streyffeler.

David Thomas is a former law enforcement officer and is a Professor of Forensic Studies at FGCU. He’s worked with tough young people like him before. The outcomes generally aren’t positive. “They were 14-15 years old, and by the time they got to 18, we put almost every one of them in prison and then ultimately one of them actually committed murder. And he ended up in prison,” Thomas said.

Of course, those kids have a different story than Delestre. So, Thomas knows the pattern.

“I hate to say this, but my experience has been that when I have when I’ve had this, when I’ve worked with and arrested kids that were kids that make it to this age of 18-19 years old. And that history continues, it’s… it’s pretty much that that’s where it’s gonna end up, I mean it, they are bound to be in prison,” said Thomas said.

He says there could be ways to stop from happening to someone so young. But, it starts with early intervention and showing the parents what they need to help.

Delestre is currently being held in the Lee County jail and his bond has been set at over $200,000.

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