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Although sad, there is always someone b***** and badder than you out there..

DAVIE
Robot whiz dies in scuffle
A Miami man known for driving the robot ''Rammstein'' on the popular Comedy Central show BattleBots died during a street fight in Davie Sunday, police said.
BY KEVIN DEUTSCH
[email protected]

AND ROBERT STEINBACK

Julio Cesar Roqueta lived fast.

The 24-year-old Miami resident loved going to clubs and parties. He always preferred swift cars to slow ones. And if someone wanted a fight, he was never one to back down.

But as Roqueta and two friends prepared to leave the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino early Sunday morning after a night of partying, someone picked a fight that ended with Roqueta being punched so hard he fell into an oncoming car on U.S. 441, killing him instantly.

''He wanted to do so many things in life, and I guess that's why he lived so fast, because he knew the end was coming,'' said Roqueta's sister, Anabel Rodriguez, 32. ``He liked to pretend he was tough. He had a very short temper.''

Roqueta also was a technical whiz who was largely self-taught. In 2000, he and some friends competed on the popular Comedy Central show BattleBots, which featured remote-controlled robots battling each other. Roqueta was the driver of their creation, which the team called Rammstein.

Roqueta attended Miami Coral Park Senior High, where he developed a love of robotics and mechanics with the help of a science-advocacy program.

Roqueta ''had a loud mouth, but he was a great guy with a huge heart,'' according to one of his friends, Alejandro Espinosa. ``Everybody who knew him loved him.''

The fight that led to Roqueta's death started tamely enough.

Roqueta and two friends from his BattleBot team -- Espinosa and Dennis Moreno -- spent much of Saturday evening and early Sunday at the Seminole Hard Rock. The group left shortly after 4 a.m. and returned to the parking lot where they prepared to leave in Moreno's souped-up Dodge Neon, Espinosa said Sunday.

In the parking lot, three or four people in a black Mercedes began ridiculing the Neon, and an exchange of trash-talking ensued, Espinosa said.

The car was an older model, but it had a specialized exhaust system, typically reserved for faster, newer cars.

''It was just teasing name-calling,'' Espinosa, 25, said. ''Just talk. We get into this sort of stuff all the time. It wasn't anything out of the ordinary.'' The other people were strangers, he said.

Roqueta got into a shouting match with one of the man, but no punches were thrown. It looked like a fight would be avoided.

Moreno, Roqueta and Espinosa left, turning northbound on 441. They were stopped by a red light at Griffin Road. The Mercedes also stopped. The trash-talking resumed, and apparently escalated. Someone got out of the Mercedes and came around to the passenger side of the Neon, where Roqueta was sitting in the front seat. Roqueta got out.

LANDED A PUNCH

Fists began to fly, police said. One of the men from the Mercedes cocked back, swung, and landed a punch on Roqueta's face, sending him stumbling backward, police said.

Roqueta fell down, his head hitting the bumper of a car headed northbound on U.S. 441, police said. The sound of the crash was so piercing, someone called 911 and reported it as a gunshot. When police arrived, they realized Roqueta had suffered a violent death, but not from a bullet.

''This kid hit [Roqueta] right in the mouth,'' said Davie Police Lt. Bill Bamford. ``He lost his balance, fell backwards, and the car hit him in the headlight area. It was just bad timing.''

After the accident, Roqueta's friends and the other men drove away from the scene, leaving his body behind, police said.

Espinosa said everyone left but all later returned.

The man who punched Roqueta, whose name was not released, came to a Davie police station later on Sunday and told police what happened. He had not been charged as of Sunday night.

Police also interviewed the other men involved. Davie police said they hope to track down the driver whose car slammed into Roqueta, Bamford said.

Rodriguez says she does not blame anyone for what happened to her brother. ''Whether that kid who punched him is guilty or not, it's not going to bring my brother back,'' she said.

Espinosa said he and Roqueta were both born in Cuba and their families remained close after coming to Miami. Roqueta's family arrived when he was 8, his sister Anabel Rodriguez said.

Aside from their BattleBot competition, the two also worked to design a propulsion system they hoped would be included on aerospace engineer Burt Rutan's SpaceShipOne, which became the first privately funded space vehicle last September. Although their design wasn't used, the pair built a full-scale mock-up of the engine -- with 15,000 pounds of thrust -- and tested it in California's Mojave Desert, Espinosa said.

''He's just as smart as anybody,'' he said of Roqueta. ``Whatever he wanted to do, he did it. He basically taught himself how to weld.

''We talked about opening up a fabrication shop, or a custom motorcycle shop,'' Espinosa said.

ALWAYS JOKING

When Roqueta was with his family, he was constantly joking, trying to make them smile, his sister said.

On Saturday, Roqueta had spent hours playing with one of his nieces.

''He held her in his arms. ... He was so loving,'' said Rodriguez, as she began to cry. ``I don't know how I'm going to tell my girls he's gone.''

Anyone with information is urged to call Davie police at 954-693-8200 or Broward Crime Stoppers at 954-493-8477.
 

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Wow, that is so sad.. Young people and their tempers.. That whole situation could have been avoided if the comments were just ignored. OH, well.. RIP :(
 

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Ducatista
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That is some crazy shit!
 

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The Ugly TwatWaffle
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That's very unfortunate, sometimes shitty stuff happens like that. Just goes to show once again that fighting doesn't really ever solve anything.
 

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motopsyko32 said:
After the accident, Roqueta's friends and the other men drove away from the scene, leaving his body behind, police said.
great friends..

I bet they left because they were all drunk and no one wanted to get a DUI.
 

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I can't believe his own friends left his body at the scene.
 

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The guy drove a "tricked-out" Neon? That alone is grounds for a good beating :lao Hey if he was such a "tough guy" how come he went down with just one punch? The guys in the Benz are trash, but hey, don't go strutting your stuff like you're all that if you can't take a hit.

Sorry but I only feel sad for innocents getting killed in drive-bys, hit-and-runs, victims of drunk drivers, etc. A "loudmouth" who liked to "pretend to be a tough guy" shouldn't expect to live very long anyway. It takes more of a man to walk away from an idiotic fight like this one than it does to take it to the next level. They were likely all drunk anyway.

It's sad for his friends and family, though.
 

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Chinygyal said:
I can't believe his own friends left his body at the scene.
I think they were freaked
 

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Actually the guy that hit him should be charged....

I feel sorry for the families... this all could have been avoided if these men didn't have to act like boys.
 

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that sucks and yea what great friends they had, wow with friends like that who needs enamys, that sucks.
 

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Onetrick said:
Actually the guy that hit him should be charged....
Yup...will probably be Manslaughter. Should be that at least.

RIP
 
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