Update: Francisco's mother, Lauren Chollet, called Riptide on Monday, January 3. She attested that there was "nothing sexual" about the burglary incident at the University of Central Florida: her son was intoxicated and continually entering the wrong dorm rooms. Also, she accused Francisco's girlfriend of filing false domestic violence claims in order to deny him custody of their child. In fact, three of the five domestic violence claims against him have been dismissed, and two are currently in court. "He's really just a big pussycat," Lauren Chollet said of her son.
Virtually every update we've published concerning the killing of 21-year-old graffiti artist Jonathan "Ynot" Corso has sparked a flurry of commenters opining that as a prolific vandal, he was a "scumbag" who "deserved" to die.
Let's take a look at who's on the accused killer's side of the moral coin, shall we?
According to the Davie Police report published by Riptide yesterday, 34-year-old Francisco Anthony Chollet-- who stands a hulking, tattooed 6-foot-3-- picked a fight with the diminutive Corso on the morning of July 28. He drove up next to the graffiti artist in a strip club parking lot and told him: "I thought you were a bitch." He was apparently referring to his long dreads. After they exchanged angry words, Chollet spit on Corso. That's when a six-man brawl exploded, leading Reynaldo Rodriguez to jump behind the wheel of Chollet's Cadillac Escalade and mow Corso down. Five months later, Rodriguez is awaiting trial for vehicular manslaughter. His crony has not been charged with a crime related to Corso's death. But Chollet's alleged thuggish behavior that night is in line with a personal history that includes burglary, assault, and domestic violence. In 2001, Chollet made headlines when he was busted breaking into dorm rooms at Orlando's University of Central Florida, where he was not a student, and allegedly fondling at least three females in their sleep. With a 2000 battery already on his record, Chollet was convicted of burglary and assault and served two years in prison. Since moving to Broward County, Chollet has had five domestic violence claims filed against him in court. In July 21, 2008, cops responded to a neighbor's 911 call to find Chollet's girlfriend-- and mother of their child-- with a cut upper lip and bruises on her right ankle and thigh. Chollet, according to the girlfriend, had "slapped her with an open right hand on the left side of her head," and snatched the phone cord out of the wall when she tried to call cops, "all while holding their two-and-a-half-month-old child." The same girlfriend filed a petition in court alleging years of abuse: "He would push me, choke me, and hit me... He has threatened to kill me and I do not want my child to be [exposed to] this type of behavior." The girlfriend, who did not respond to a call for comment and whose name we are not publishing because she is the victim of alleged abuse, also alleged that Chollet was a drug dealer: "He refuses to work for $10 an hour which is why he participates in his illegal activities." Chollet has not been charged with any drug-related crimes in Orange or Broward Counties. The domestic violence claim was dismissed after the girlfriend did not show up in court. Riptide confronted Chollet at his Davie apartment three weeks ago, before Davie Police released his name. Asked if it was his Escalade involved in Corso's death, he said only: "How did you get this address?" When told it was through public records, Chollet responded, "Oh, okay," and closed the door. It's been a busy holiday season for Chollet: He's had two more domestic violence claims filed against him since December 20. Jonathan "Ynot" Corso, in case you're wondering, was arrested twice as an adult. Both times the charges stemmed from writing on walls. Read New Times' feature on Corso here.
Keep Miami New Times Free... Since we started Miami New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Miami, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Miami with no paywalls.