João Franco From ‘Below Deck Med’ Recounts His Family’s Horrific Attack

João Franco from Below Deck Mediterranean hinted on the show that his mother had been brutally attacked when he lived with his family in Zimbabwe.

The bosun shared the terrifying moment with Kate Casey on Reality Life with Kate Casey where he recounted the horrific attack his family endured. He went into details of the painful night when he was only 16 years old, witnessing the brutal home invasion that changed his life forever.

Joao Franco, Captain Sandy Yawn
Joao Franco, Captain Sandy Yawn |Greg Endries/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

Franco says growing up in Zimbabwe was tough. But “As tough as it was also an amazing upbringing. We had the liberty of living like real kids. We were out in the fields every day, we had motorbikes,” Franco remarks. While he lived “a really amazing kid life,” political strife created a sense of always having to be on guard.

The attack happened in Franco’s home

He remembers his family being at home when the attack occurred. Franco witnessed seeing his mother violently beaten. “Basically they had come in to rob us,” he recounts. “And I had heard her screaming. And I ran outside, we were in the house. I ran from the room to see her get beaten.”

He says he went to get a gun because he was ready to shoot the home invaders. “Because I was ready to shoot.” But he was prevented from getting the weapon. “They put us all into one room, basically my mom was bleeding everywhere. I grabbed her and she was lying on top of me.”

Franco recalls his brother and stepdad being beaten as well. He too was hit with the back of a gun. “They eventually pulled us all together and threw my stepdad and my brother in a room and closed the door and left my mom outside. And my stepdad’s words were, ‘I don’t care if I die today I’m going to do what I can.’ So we grabbed the door and pulled the door.”

His family refused to allow the robbers to do more harm to his mother

He says this is when his family rallied to save his mother. “The guy with one gun fell in the floor. We just grabbed my mom’s legs and ran into the bathroom. When the guy got back up we pushed him down and closed the door.”

But he says they were still extremely worried that the robbers had a plan for his mother. But then, “We waited like five or ten seconds and as we looked outside we saw their feet basically running out the back door and drive off.” Franco ran next door to get help for his mother. He recalled she was bleeding everywhere and had almost passed out. Franco’s stepdad quickly rushed his mother to the hospital. Meanwhile, his father showed up to help with Franco and his brother.

Franco says his mother is the most positive person he knows. “The very next day we had to up and just forget about it because there were no police to take control. There’s no law there really. It’s all broken laws really. They were never going to get caught, we knew that.” He adds it wasn’t a matter of calling the police. “Because the police don’t have time for it. Or they want money for their work. It’s a completely different lifestyle.”