RUSKIN, Fla. — Brian Coomey was supposed to put a screen enclosure around Lou Coppola’s patio.
Instead of enjoying screened in shade, Lou is fuming over a contractor who up and disappeared with his money.
The Coppolas lost $2,900. They are among four Ruskin residents ABC Action News found asking the same question: Where is Brian Coomey? And how come he’s getting away with it?
In a post on the Ruskin Crime Facebook page, neighbor, Javier Cordova lists himself among the victims saying he and his wife lost $6,000 to Coomey.
ABC Action News found a Facebook ad from November in which the contractor advertises himself as a screen room builder.
To build screened enclosures requires a contractor's license in Hillsborough County. Records show Coomey doesn't have one. What 38-year-old does have is a string of arrests for trespassing, worthless checks, and charges of obstructing an officer.
Coomey's phone is disconnected and he was evicted out of his last address. The sheriff's office confirmed they have been investigating Coomey since last year.
As to why no arrest has been made? The sheriff’s office gave us this statement: “I can tell you that the category of cases you are inquiring about take a lot of time to process. Among other things, the financial and communications records take time to subpoena, receive and then comb through.”
Meanwhile, victims wonder if they will ever see a dime of the money they lost and worry what happened to them will happen to others.
Before hiring any contractor, find out the county requirements for licensing and then check for the contractor’s license and complaint record. Just Google the county contractor and licensing office for your county.