By: Melissa Morreale
On Thursday afternoon, the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office (FCSO) responded to a domestic disturbance in Palm Coast’s W section, where 51-year-old Mark Francioni was ultimately arrested after a seven-hour standoff.
Upon speaking with the victim, she advised that Wednesday evening, Francioni made statements about killing himself after a verbal argument, and approached her with a firearm while she was in another room. He then threatened her stating “I could kill you right now” and “I’m going to put a bullet in your head.” The victim then heard a gunshot, ran to the room, and saw Francioni standing near the bed, saying “Now I know it works, and you’re next.”
This morning, Francioni continued his aggressive behavior and took the victim’s cell phone, throwing it at her leg, as she attempted to leave the residence. He continued to threaten her life, grow more aggressive, and smash her belongings. She then made her way to the front door, opened it, and was grabbed by Francioni and pulled back in, screaming for help. Eventually, the victim was able to escape to a neighbor’s house and called 9-1-1.
Deputies responded to the Welling Place residence around 1:30 p.m. to find Francioni barricaded in his home. The FCSO SWAT and Crisis Negotiations Team (CNT) responded after learning there were multiple firearms in the home and Francioni refused to exit. Throughout the afternoon and into the evening, he made multiple threats to harm himself and others, while consuming alcoholic beverages and progressively getting more agitated. Around 8:30 p.m. after seven hours of negotiations which had deteriorated as he became more intoxicated and irrational Sheriff Staly, who was on the scene, authorized the SWAT team to use the battering ram on the armored Bearcat to force open the door, which he had also barricaded. Francioni then began to exit the home but when he failed to follow orders, he was struck with two less-lethal 40mm rubber rounds and was then secured without further incident.
“This drunken dirtbag had multiple firearms in his possession and disturbed the neighborhood for hours,” Sheriff Rick Staly said. “He threatened someone’s life, held her captive, and luckily, she escaped unharmed. Refusing to communicate with us while being belligerent resulted in us taking measures to prevent further violence. We knew from the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office who had a prior stand-off with him that we had to be strategic and take forceful action as his liquid courage was increasing. I’m very proud of our team for successfully getting this guy to exit the residence and take him into custody. Hopefully, this guy stays locked up so he can’t continue to threaten our community or the victim.”
Francioni is no stranger to law enforcement. He’s previously been charged in Volusia County in 2010 for Domestic Battery, Driving Under the Influence, and was charged in 2005 in Pennsylvania with Aggravated Assault.
He’s facing charges for Felony Domestic Battery and Aggravated Assault and is being held under a $60,000 bond. Additional charges are pending.