Lantana woman allegedly beaten by homeless vet tried kicking him out

By Brian Entin

LANTANA, FL (WFLX) - Patty Steenbuck says her nightmare, involving a man she thought was a homeless veteran, started with an e-mail offering to help him.

"Hi, my name is Patty, and I saw your story, and I might be able to help you," the e-mail read.

Steenbuck says she contacted John Vigil after seeing a news story on Fox 29 that showed him homeless living out of a truck with his dogs and cat. "I have an extra bedroom, and I was willing to help him and the dogs," Steenbuck said.

But one month after allowing Vigil to move in rent free, he was behind bars for attacking her. "He ripped my ear lobe, I have bruises all over my body," Steenbuck said.

Steenbuck says the issues started about two weeks ago when Vigil began acting strangely and his dogs were not behaving. "I told him you have to leave my house. I told him that repeatedly, but he didn't respond," Steenbuck said.

Steenbuck says even after police were called, Vigil would not leave, and the officers could not help. "When he went out the door, I locked the dead bolt, and they told me I had to let him back in," Steenbuck said.

According to police reports, Steenbuck told officers on Tuesday night, Vigil pulled her out of her room, held her down and kicked her. "He just kept banging my face against the floor," she said.

Even though Vigil remains behind bars on a $1,500 bond, Steenbuck is worried because all of his belongings remain in her house. "He has to come with a police officer to get them," she said.

Along with the bond, a judge issued a no contact order Wednesday morning to ensure Vigil does not have contact with the victim. "What is he going to do next? What is the next step he is going to do to terrorize us?"

Palm Beach County Animal Care and Control picked up Vigil's dogs Wednesday.

Steenbuck says she is working with victims' services to sort through the formal eviction process, so Vigil can't come in the home.

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