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Two years ago today was one of the most insane days in Turtleboy history. It was a very sad day as Auburn Police Officer Ron Tarentino, a father of three, was gunned down by career criminal Jorge Zambrano. I remember it well. It was a Sunday. We woke up to find out that just over the Worcester line this officer had been shot and did not survive. The killer was still on the loose and their name had not been announced by the media. Everyone in the area had to be on guard because a desperate man, willing to kill anyone to stay out of jail, could be in their neighborhood. No one knew his name, but they knew he was driving a white Infinity SUV with attached plate reg #4PJX80.
Back then our following was smaller, and concentrated mostly in Central, MA. We had something like 25-30,000 Facebook followers, but they were a constant source of information, and they used us to broadcast messages the public should be aware of. We got a tip from a tow truck place in Worcester letting us know that just six days earlier the white infinity used in the murder was towed by the Massachusetts State Police for an unregistered and unlicensed driver. His name was Jorge Zambrano. It was picked up the next day on May 17 by his girlfriend Heather Phillip, a local trashbag who worked at the Riviera strip club:
After posting the killer’s name I remember the longest and most exhilerating day in Turtleboy history. The entire Sunday our inbox was flooded with constant tips. People from Rochdale let us know that their neighborhood was flooded with state troopers and they were not allowed to leave their homes. Zambrano had holed up in a stash house and was refusing to come out.
We did our best to keep the public informed, and in doing so 5,000 new turtle riders joined the page to keep up with what was going on. People from that neighborhood were sending us video after video of the standoff. We elected not to share them during the standoff so as not to interfere with this dangerous situation.
A lot of the information that day was coming directly from cops on the ground. We were the first to report when Zambrano was finally killed, after sneaking through a tunnel from one half of the duplex to another. The mainstream media called us fake news because it had not been confirmed officially, but we know as a fact he was alive when he first came out of the house, but died a painful, miserable death that he deserved shortly thereafter.
This was a tragic day indeed. But ever since this incident police officers everywhere have felt comfortable sending us the REAL stories about their job, the ones the media wasn’t reporting. As a result of this State Troopers and other LEO’s have felt comfortable coming to us, and consequently we’ve encountered levels of corruption that would never have seen the light of day without their tips.
Here’s some of the insane footage neighbors sent us on this fateful day….
Here’s a video of the state police telling them they’ll call him “Jor-hay” or “Jorge” or whatever he wants. He also makes reference to “another guy in the house” who heard him.
Then there’s this video where the negotiator tells him that they’re not there by accident and assures him that he will be treated OK if he surrenders. Notice the windows are all broken. Witnesses say that tear gas was shot inside the house and people suspect he could be in the basement.
Then there’s this video where the negotiator calls him “dude,” and mentions that Jorge has called his twin brother during this standoff on the phone. He urges Jorge to “think about him,” so he can tell his side of the story.
This one is pretty intense. The negotiator tells him to think about his daughter, mother, and brother, whom he names. He even mentions the brother Giancarlo trying to get to Leicester from 1,000 miles away.
Finally there was this video where the negotiator tells him that he “thinks you’re hidden really nice, but you’re not,” as police clearly are narrowing in on the basement. He makes repeated mention to the fact that the “dog’s in the house,” and that the “dog will find you.”
RIP Ron Tarentino. I’m sorry you had to sacrifice your life to highlight everything that is wrong with our criminal justice system. I’m sorry nothing has changed since then, and that activist judges are still getting cops like Eugene Cole and Sean Gannon killed. I didn’t know you personally, but you seemed like a good guy, raising three great young men, and leaving behind a great wife. Your contributions will never be forgotten at Turtleboy.