Following his release from prison,Lino Villar Cataldo, the doctor who killed a man trying to rob him in Loma Hermosa, Buenos Aires Province and sparked a country-wide debate on justifiable homicide, finally ended his silence yesterday. In an hour-long interview with TV show Animales Sueltos Cataldo said he feels “extremely bad” about the whole situation, fears for his children’s safety and asked the forgiveness of the robber’s mother.
“I feel extremely bad, very bad. My daughter had panic attacks while I was detained. I come across people in the street and feel like lowering my head. I’m very ashamed. I studied my whole life to do something else. I miss my patients every day that I don’t go to the hospital,” he began, visibly upset.
The fact that Cataldo has been released from prison, however, doesn’t mean he has been found innocent. The case is still very much under investigation and he has been charged with homicide aggravated by use of weapon. He was released because, in these type of cases, judges only keep suspects behind bars if they believe there is a real chance the suspect will escape before the investigation ends.
The doctor, who still has a black eye as a result of the attempted robbery, went on to say that he is scared by the threats made by the robber’s family members who, among other things, said they will make him pay “a tear for a tear.”
“My children told me about the threat that the robber’s brother made. I’m scared. I want to get far away from all this. I don’t know what’s going to happen with my life from now on, because the house where I had my office was also where my son lived. We had to abandon that place due to the threats we received,” he said.
And apparently, the threats have been many: Infobae today reported that after the show, a taxi driver refused to take him home “out of fear,” when he found out that he was supposed to take the doctor who has become infamous across the country this week. Finally, a different taxi agreed to take him home amid a strong police operation.
Cataldo said he understands “the mother’s pain” and asked her for forgiveness: “I don’t feel proud about this,” said Cataldo, who went on to assure he doesn’t want to ever touch a weapon again. “After this, even if the courts tell me, ‘Come retrieve your weapon,’ I’ll say no. I don’t want my gun anymore. But in Loma Hermosa this is an everyday thing. The car I have now I bought it to replace the one that was stolen last year,” he added.
Judge Lucas Oyhanarte will now have to determine if the doctor’s actions constitute a case of justifiable homicide. The judge has forbidden Cataldo from leaving the country while the investigation continues.