Monsters Among Us

April 24, 2010 – Detective Carlos Castillo, a Miami-Dade police officer, was working on a robbery intervention detail when he encountered 33-year-old Michael Paul Robertson, Jr. and 25-year-old Monica Rene Banks (pictured above). The two were in a car stopped by Detective Castillo. The event should have been what most civilians call a routine traffic stop.

At the time of the traffic stop the detective had no knowledge that Robertson was wanted for shooting a gun during an argument with the mother of his child. But things escalated quickly. Robertson suddenly fled on foot leaving his girlfriend behind. Castillo managed to grab and cuff Monica Banks and then called for back up to help capture Robertson.

Help arrived and began to search for the wanted Robertson. Detective Castillo remained at the scene with his prisoner, Monica Banks.

Police set up a perimeter and searched all vehicles in the area.

During the wait, Robertson circled back to where Detective Castillo held Banks, crept up behind the detective, and struck him in the back of the head with a cinder block. The blow was so severe that the block broke into pieces. The detective fell and Robertson then began to repeatedly kick Castillo in the head and chest. Then the thug got behind the wheel of the officer’s unmarked Dodge Charger. But, before using Castillo’s car to escape, he ran over the detective’s crumpled body several times.

Police initiated a huge manhunt (16 agencies participated in the search) for Robertson, who eventually turned himself in to officers. Robertson was charged with attempted first-degree murder, robbery/carjacking, aggravated assault with a firearm, and possession of a firearm by a felon. Banks, who stood by and watched the assault, was charged with accessory to attempted murder and attempted first-degree murder. Also arrested was Robertson’s 51-year-old father, Michael Robertson, Sr. He was charged with assault on a police officer. It’s unclear if his arrest was related to the event involving his son.

Michael Robertson, Sr.

Remarkably, Detective Castillo survived the ordeal in spite of several broken ribs, injury to his brain, internal bleeding, damage to several organs, spinal injury, and numerous skull fractures. He is in critical, but stable condition, and has undergone several surgeries since the assault.

23 replies
  1. Rita Smith
    Rita Smith says:

    Sad to think that this kind of thing happens, yet I know it does. I hope the detective makes a full recovery. My prayers are with him and his family.

    Lee, as always thanks for reporting this. ~Rita

  2. Valerie Hansen
    Valerie Hansen says:

    Oh, Lee, what a hoot! I’m so glad I followed another author’s suggestion to look at your Castle blog. I’ve been picking apart the writer “facts” while trying to overlook the police procedural errors but I still noticed many of the ones you cited, especially holding the flashlight to create a perfect target in the dark.

    That said, I watch Castle for the chemistry and the tongue-in-cheek humor, some of which I’ve missed because I’m not familiar with all the previous shows others have mentioned here. What they really need is a cadre of writers and cops and MEs to provide the necessary realism. Oh, and I do like the poker-playing episodes with real writers portraying themselves, like Cannell. Maybe those were the ones everyone liked best.

    Thanks for a good laugh and great education,

  3. Lena Nelson Dooley
    Lena Nelson Dooley says:

    I would love to sign up to have this blog sent into my Inbox. Have you considered using Feedblitz or Feedburner for that. I don’t use the other RSS feeds. I don’t have time to hunt for them, because of my book deadlines, but I’ll read the ones that come into my Inbox.

  4. Judy in California
    Judy in California says:

    Dear Lee, I appreciate your reviews. They are very interesting and helpful. I suggest that you get the email addresses of the WRITERS and send your reviews to them. I also am annoyed by the forensic mistakes (which I sometimes catch), but as you yourself have pointed out, it is not the fault of the actors. I wonder if the writers even care. As long as the show is a hit and getting a large viewer share they will continue to do what they are doing.

  5. Marie-Nicole Ryan
    Marie-Nicole Ryan says:

    I must be one of the only four people on the planet who didn’t watch Buffy or Firefly and thus missed the references. For some reason I was on a roll writing and only sort of watching. Yes, I can do both at once, but the TV watching suffered from my inattention while the writing can be edited, I’ll have to wait for a rerun.

    Or maybe I should just order some Firefly DVDs in the meantime, because watching Nathan Fillion is so much fun.

  6. LB Hayden
    LB Hayden says:

    Lee, I approach the show with a complete suspension of belief which makes it entirely enjoyable for many of the reasons you cited. As to its inaccuracies, I don’t base my research about medicine on medical shows, about procedures on a cop show and my defense on lawyer shows . (BUt I sure know writers who do… ::sigh::)

    One nice piece of trivia about this week’s episode. Nathan Fillion wasn’t the only person in the Vampire Week show to pay hommage to his role in a prior show. Yes, he was putting on his Mal Reynolds brown coat from FIREFLY/SERENITY in the opening bit. But the two male detectivee were also dressed to remind viewers of their earlier works. Esposito, played by Jon Huertas wore military cammies in hommage to his sergeant role in GENERATION KILL (HBO miniseries) and Seamus Dever, Detective Ryan, was dressed as a doctor, a nod to his role as a medical man on ARMY WIVES.

    Ah trivia…!

  7. Melanie Atkins
    Melanie Atkins says:

    Hahaha! I knew you’d rip this one to shreds, Lee. But I still loved it. My favorite part with when Beckett and Castle are looking at the graphic novel and he says, “You smell like cherries.” Whoa. Chemistry explosion! lol That’s why I watch this show, even if the ME sucks. : )

  8. Toni
    Toni says:

    What about the total mangling of the symptoms of porphyria, apparently diagnosed with no blood test and which supposedly caused Morlock to sizzle in sunlight? Please.

  9. Su
    Su says:

    Oh, I meant to ask…when she said his watch stopped at four o’clock…how did she know whether that was am or pm?


  10. Su
    Su says:

    Ok, there’s an editor’s nightmare.

    I kept wondering who “we” were…

    I kept wondering who “we” was…

    Nevermind. I kept wondering to whom “we” referred.



  11. Su
    Su says:

    In agreement with Dori and Suisan, it made me very happy to see a little Mal. Sorta went downhill from there.

    Dialogue was still funny (with the exception of the ME, of course) and I still love the chemistry. (The “tit for tat” comment was a riot.)

    Still unsure what the vampire chick meant when she said “We forgave him.” I kept wondering who “we” was…but I might’ve missed something.

    But we got to see Mal, right? I miss Mal. I think I’ll drag out my Firefly DVDs tonight.

    (Lee, if you’ve never seen Firefly, you absolutely MUST. From a writer’s standpoint, that show is brilliant!)


  12. DoriC
    DoriC says:

    I’ve got to say I’m with Suisan. I loved the opening tribute to Firefly and I found the episode quite funny as well. But I knew the minute I saw the lady M.E. I’d be looking for your blog entry this morning.

  13. RhondaL
    RhondaL says:

    I think they missed a really good – and technically correct — sight gag. Maybe I’m wrong, but I don’t think so. Anyhoo, here goes …

    When the cops and Castle were entering the building and Beckett drags him away from the point position by grabbing the back of his jacket, she let him go in second? Before the other two cops??? No, honey. I don’t think so. 🙂 Aside from the fact that he really shouldn’t be there …

    What I think they could have done was this. After Becket drags Castle behind her, at least the second cop could do the same. I’d suggest the third to it, too, except Castle shouldn’t be bringing up the rear because that’s still a vulnerable position for a civilian. Explaining Castle’s injury/capture/death to his buddy Hizzoner da Mayor would not be fun.

    Still, since we’re talking prime time TV, why not carry on the fine tradition of playing fast&loose with tactics to have all three cops shuffle Castle to the end of the line. Bam, bam, bam. Where he’s a bit disoriented but gamely follows them all in. Milk that scene for all it’s worth. 🙂

    FWIW, my husband and I howled at the psycho Kermit at the end. We replayed it several times, in slo-mo, trying to figure out how to reverse engineer the pop-up.

  14. D. Swords
    D. Swords says:

    It will probably get worse, Gayle. The more you learn about police work, the less you like TV police shows. That’s why I can’t watch them

    The Andy Griffith Show excluded, of course 🙂

    Lee’s blog may not do much for your appreciation of Hollywood, but if it gets you thinking along those lines as a writer, that is why he does it.

    Kudoes to Lee for his self-imposed Monday night torture! 🙂

  15. Pat Marinelli
    Pat Marinelli says:

    Oh, Lee, I didn’t catch as many of the problems as you did but I was right there with you a lot of them.

    Yes, I agree, the characters are growing (well, not the M.E.) but the writers are trying to squeeze too much into a 60 minute timeslot that is killing the believablility of this show. Thankfully, the relationship bewteen Castle and Beckett and her detective squad keeps the showing entertaining.

    I was so looking forward to a great Halloween show and was a little disappointed.

  16. Gayle Carline
    Gayle Carline says:

    Oh, Lee, what have you done to me? I used to watch these kinds of shows and give the writers a little wiggle room to advance the plot by having someone identify the gun/poison/weaponry used fairly early and fudge a bit on who reveals what. Now I watch Castle and throw popcorn at the M.E. because she can state clearly that a victim was killed during the daytime. WTF? I have to come to the actress’ defense, tho. Unless she’s some kind of untamed diva who writes her own lines, the writers are feeding this to her. If she’s not reading your blog, how does she know she’s making an idiot of herself?

    Shame on those writers.


  17. Suisan
    Suisan says:

    Hmm… D. Swords has a point. Wouldn’t be the first time someone has used that “position of authority” to do their “evil deeds” and then cover them up. Dexter, anyone?

    However, in spite of the appaling – okay GHASTLY – faux paux and “I’m so damn good at my job I can lead (tv) cops around by the nose hairs” so-called-Medical Examiner … I found this episode of Castle to be rather… funny.

    Nathan getting back into his “Captain Malcom ‘Mal’ Reynolds” gear from Firefly/Serenity was cool. The Tongue in Cheek delivery of the “Buffy” lines was … well, great. I halfway expected him to show up at the Castle Party dressed as a Priest… but Poe was inspired too.

    Beyond that, though? Sheesh! This read more like a Comedy of Errors rather than a good episode. Bring back last week’s writer, give him a raise and chain him to the desks in the Writers Room – while FIRING everyone else responsible for the dreck.

  18. D. Swords
    D. Swords says:

    Hi, Lee.

    I think I know what’s going on with this show.

    Let me ask you, if you were talking to someone who knew details of a murder that no one should know, wouldn’t the little bells start to go off?

    That’s right, the M.E. is the real murderer who is killing at will and using her position to frame innocent persons. Obviously, this show is all a set up for a Perry Mason-like sequel about a crafty lawyer freeing all of these falsely convicted citizens.

    Sounds pretty far fetched, I know, but it makes more sense than what we’re expected to believe on Castle.

  19. Margaret
    Margaret says:

    Loved Castle, but I have to say that I loved your rundown even better. Yep, you hit the nail on the head when you mentioned the best reason for watching the show was to watch Beckett and Castle toss barbs and innuendos at each other.
    –but the M.E. does have a great set of ta-tas, see above picture (I’m a female and I can say that, can’t I??)

Comments are closed.