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Teen Killed After Confronting Suspected Drug Dealer

October 28, 1988

MIAMI (AP) _ A former juvenile delinquent trying to change his life was killed for his courage, police said, after he confronted a man neighbors identified as ″Dread″ the crack peddler.

Dalton Reneau, 17, was shot from a passing car just after midnight Thursday on the same crowded street corner where he argued with Dread the night before, said homicide detective Ron Ilhardt. Reneau was trying to persuade the man to move his business out of the neighborhood, Ilhardt said.

Reneau died several hours later with bullet wounds in his chest and legs. Police have issued an arrest warrant in the killing for a man they identified as Francois Valmer, 31.

The slaying first appeared to be the result of a territorial dispute between rival drug pushers, but police then learned the men standing with Reneau at the time of the drive-by shooting were uninvolved in the drug trade, Ilhardt said.

″All the young men hanging out there work or go to school,″ he said. They were trying to keep the neighborhood clean.″

Reneau and his friends and Reneau’s mother, Diane Fairweather, had badgered the man to quit selling drugs in the area, Ilhardt said.

The detective said the suspected drug dealer confronted Ms. Fairweather Tuesday night and ″he slashed all four tires of the lady’s car, accusing her of calling police on him, and he and the victim (Reneau) got involved in a heated argument.″

Witnesses told police that a man they recognized as Dread returned to the corner about 12:15 a.m. Thursday, riding in the passenger seat of his own car. The driver’s identity was unknown.

″He rolled up, turned the corner and opened fire on them all, but he just hit Reneau,″ Ilhardt said.

Reneau, who was to be buried Saturday, dropped out of school in the eighth grade and had a juvenile delinquency record. Ilhardt said the offenses were minor.

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