Why was gunman Daton Viel on the streets?

Daton Viel killed in shootout with SWAT at Orlando hotel

ORLANDO, Fla. – The man who Orlando Police said shot and critically wounded two of their officers Friday night could have potentially been taken off the streets months before the violent attack, court records reviewed by News 6 suggest.

Daton Viel, 28, was killed during a shootout with the Orlando Police SWAT team early Saturday morning.

Viel had an extensive criminal history, records show, with his most recent arrest occurring a little more than four months before the police shooting.

Authorities arrested Viel on March 27 after investigators said DNA evidence linked him to the December 2022 rape of a 14-year-old girl in Orange County.

Viel posted a $125,250 bond and was released from the Orange County jail on April 14 to await trial on charges of sexual battery and molestation, records show.

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“That is an unusually high bond amount,” Orange-Osceola State Attorney Monique Worrell said Monday. “Here in Orange County, bond is determined by a bond schedule and by the court. It is not set or determined by the state attorney’s office.”

At the time of the alleged rape in December 2022, Viel was under the supervision of the Florida Department of Corrections while serving probation for crimes he committed in Georgia, including aggravated battery and arson, state records show.

Under an interstate compact offenders sentenced to probation in other states can request to transfer their supervision to Florida.

The terms of Viel’s probation were not immediately available, but typically judges can revoke an offender’s probation if the offender is arrested for a new crime.

A spokesperson for the Florida Department of Corrections did not respond to questions from News 6 inquiring why Viel’s Georgia probation was not immediately revoked following his March 27 arrest for sexual battery.

Court records from Clayton County, Georgia show a probation violation arrest warrant was issued for Viel on May 3, more than a month after Viel’s sexual battery arrest and more than two weeks after he was released on bond from the Orange County jail.

At the time Viel was released from jail in April, court records show the Florida Department of Corrections placed him on electronic monitoring that included a GPS bracelet.

On June 13, six weeks after a Georgia judge issued an arrest warrant for Viel, Florida Department of Corrections officials learned Viel had cut off his electronic monitoring device and moved out of his aunt’s Apopka home without notifying his probation officer.

A spokesperson for the Florida Department of Corrections did not respond to questions from News 6 inquiring why Viel was not arrested on the Georgia warrant during those six weeks, a time when the state agency may have had the ability to locate Viel by GPS.

In February 2023, between the time of the alleged rape and Viel’s arrest for that crime, Viel was sentenced to probation in an unrelated trespassing case in Orange County, court records show.

Immediately after Viel’s arrest for sexual battery, Florida Department of Corrections officials filed court papers alleging that Viel’s new arrest was a violation of his probation in the trespassing case.

However, a judge later dismissed that probation violation since the alleged rape occurred before Viel was placed on probation in the trespassing case.

During a news conference discussing Viel’s criminal history, Worrell placed full responsibility for the shooting of the two Orlando police officers on Viel and avoided blaming other public servants.

“All of our agencies are doing the very best they can to handle a lot of cases with very limited resources,” said Worrell. “Hindsight is 20-20. There are any number of things that can be done on any given day that could make an outcome different. In this case, those things weren’t done. And here we are today.”

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About the Author:

Emmy Award-winning investigative reporter Mike DeForest has been covering Central Florida news for more than two decades.