Damas tragedy: Maven loved wrestling and was 'always on the go'

Maven Damas

Maven Damas

Damas' last words to Haiti

Thoughts before extradition

— Maven Damas admired men who were strong.

His favorite professional wrestler was John Cena and he recently drew a picture of the Incredible Hulk.

“It didn’t look nothing like it, but he tried,” said Mackindy Dieu, 24, Maven’s uncle.

The 6-year-old was pretty strong himself, Dieu said.

“His body is built like he was lifting weights,” said Netty Fleury, 43, Maven’s aunt.

The first-grader also liked to do pushups.

“He liked to fight. He liked to wrestle. He was a jock, pretty much,” he said. “He would always flex, like can you see my muscle?”

Lely Elementary School teacher Carlotta Rubel, who was Maven’s kindergarten teacher, remembers a little boy who was warm and bubbly and had miles of personality.

“He would just bounce into a room,” she said. “He was born in June, so he was one of the youngest in his class. But that made him try harder.”

Maven liked school, liked drawing and was learning cursive at Osceola Elementary School, family members said.

Rubel remembers Maven having lots of commitment.

“He was a good little worker,” she said. “He wasn’t as gregarious and outgoing as (older brother) Zack, but he was his own person.”

But Zack always looked out for his little brother, Rubel said. “When I dropped Maven off to get the bus home, Zack always made sure there was room for him,” she said.

Family members said Maven was very independent. The recalled a recent block party when the family couldn’t find Maven. He had gone off to a neighbor’s house.

“You have to make sure he’s with you, because he’ll do something wrong,” said Fleury. “He’s always on the go. He’s active, like he has ants in his pants.”

They said he would run off and do his own thing, he wasn’t shy at all.

Rubel said she spoke with Maven’s teacher once he moved to Osceola.

“She said he was a good addition to her classroom,” she said.

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