Man threatened to kill his girlfriend, her family and her dogs in the Keys, cops say

Steven Anthony Colella
Steven Anthony Colella

Florida Keys police arrested a Buffalo man after they say he threatened to kill his girlfriend, her family and her dogs.

Monroe County sheriff’s deputies went to the woman’s Key Largo home Tuesday night after her colleague at a gas station showed them text messages she sent stating she was in fear of her life. The gas station employee said the situation had been escalating for weeks.

As two deputies arrived at the Andros Road house, the woman was standing in the doorway, and the cops saw a man, later identified as 29-year-old Steven Anthony Colella, standing in the kitchen, said sheriff’s spokesman Adam Linhardt.

As the deputies got out of their cars, they heard the woman scream, “Put down the knife,” Linhardt said. Colella then ran to the back of the house, and the deputies rushed inside, according to Linhardt.

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The deputies ordered him to come out of the back room with his hands up. They then cuffed Colella, who gave them a fake name. He told deputies he and the woman argued, but he never threatened her.

The woman told police that Colella was mopping the floor and she let her dogs inside, which enraged him. He picked up the knife just as police arrived. She said if they hadn’t gotten there, she thinks he would have killed her, Linhardt said.

She told police that Colella had called a friend in New York days before and gave him her identifying information so the friend could come to the Keys and kill her and her family. She told police Colella was affiliated with a gang.

Colella was booked into county jail on $50,000 bond on charges of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and giving police a false identity.

He is wanted in New York for violating conditions of his parole for grand larceny, according to Buffalo news station WKBW. Police there say he hit a woman last month and sent her to the hospital.