(WSVN) - A scorned lover is charged in a disturbing criminal case. What started with a Victoria’s Secret receipt ended with a man in a hospital burn unit for a month. 7’s Karen Hensel has tonight’s special assignment report, “Scarred and Scared.”
Andy Polo says he had it all: a good job as a pro-body builder and a girlfriend.
Andy Polo: “I never saw it coming. That woman was my life.”
That woman is 52-year-old Yvonne Vega.
Andy says they’ve known each other for 40 years and dated for four.
Until May 3 of last year.
Andy Polo: “I hate that day. I’m sorry, I just – as strong as I am, I’m not strong enough to overpower that.”
To understand his very raw and intense pain, we have to go back 10 months, to that day in May.
Andy Polo: “I was at work, and she called me up and said, ‘Can you come down and change the radiator in my car?’ and I said, ‘Sure.'”
While Andy worked on her car, she borrowed his truck.
Andy Polo: “I said, ‘I’m going in the house. I’m going to take a shower. I’m going to lay down. Wake me up when you get back.'”
Napping naked on his back…
Andy Polo: “I woke up to her throwing boiling hot water on me from across the bed. She used some obscenities and said, ‘Who the ‘f’ is this for?’ and she had a Victoria’s Secret gift card and a receipt in her hand.”
Yvonne had found the gift card and receipt in his truck.
Andy Polo: “I said, ‘Why did you do this to me?’ and she says, ”Cause I love you.'”
Andy suffered second- and third-degree burns.
Andy Polo: “The next thing I know, the whole panel of my back, all my skin came off and fell on the ground, and then I ran for my life.”
He begged her to call 911.
Andy Polo: “I said, ‘I need to go to the hospital. Call the ambulance, please.’ She says, ‘No, you’ll be all right.'”
Instead, he says, Yvonne drove to a gas station to buy ice.
Andy then called 911 himself, but when Yvonne returned and heard the ambulance sirens…
Andy Polo: “She jumped in my truck and fled. I never saw her again.”
Airlifted to Jackson Memorial Hospital, Andy spent the next month in the Ryder Trauma Burn Unit.
Yvonne was arrested.
The Miami-Dade Police report says Yvonne confronted Andy about what she called his “infidelity” and talked of “… intentionally throwing the hot tea onto the victim, in self-defense.”
But when questioned further, she admitted he had never harmed her.
Detectives wrote, “…the investigation revealed…” the burn was done “…intentionally, not accidentally…” and it appeared “…she had intentionally targeted his genitals.”
Andy Polo: “I’m in the trauma unit at JMH, and six blocks away is Wynwood. She gets out of jail and goes to Wynwood and parties.”
The report noted an Instagram picture showing what Andy described to police as “…her and her daughters celebrating her accomplishment and freedom.”
When he was finally released from the hospital, Andy says he turned to his gym to recover.
Andy Polo: “That’s my happy place. Monday morning, I was on a walker, and I went back to the gym. My legs couldn’t work, but my arms could.”
A judge has ordered Yvonne to stay away from him.
Meanwhile, Andy is working to recover emotionally.
Andy Polo: “I’ve been diagnosed now with [post-traumatic stress disorder]. I’m diagnosed with hypervigilance. I walk around like this.”
Karen Hensel: “Why did you want to talk with us?”
Andy Polo: “Because it brings awareness that this can happen to anybody and everybody. I knew my woman over 40 years, OK? Forty years. I didn’t meet her at a gas station. I didn’t meet her on one of these stupid online dating things.”
Although his burns have gotten better, doctors say he will be scarred for life. For now, Andy says, he still has thousands of dollars in medical bills and still needs more surgeries.
Yvonne has pleaded not guilty. Her attorney declined to comment, and she is awaiting trial.
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