Oliverio arrest ordeal on Marco Island ends in apology from and police demotion

Marco Island Police Chief Don Hunter hands Joey Oliverio and his wife, Doreen, a DVD Friday of the apology given to the couple at the last Marco Island City Council meeting. Cheryl Ferrara / Eagle Correspondent

Marco Island Police Chief Don Hunter hands Joey Oliverio and his wife, Doreen, a DVD Friday of the apology given to the couple at the last Marco Island City Council meeting. Cheryl Ferrara / Eagle Correspondent

On Friday, Marco Island Police Chief Don Hunter, right, listens as Joey Oliverio with wife, Doreen,  explains the circumstances of his false arrest. Oliverio received a public apology from Hunter for the department's mistake at the last Marco Island City Council meeting. Cheryl Ferrara / Eagle Correspondent

On Friday, Marco Island Police Chief Don Hunter, right, listens as Joey Oliverio with wife, Doreen, explains the circumstances of his false arrest. Oliverio received a public apology from Hunter for the department's mistake at the last Marco Island City Council meeting. Cheryl Ferrara / Eagle Correspondent

— Before he finally cleared his name, Joey Oliverio endured the nightmare of a false arrest, the purgatory of incarceration and the hell of character assassination by ill-informed and mean-spirited bloggers.

At Marco Island City Council’s last meeting, Oliverio finally tasted the sweet nectar of apology. Chief Don Hunter acknowledged fault before council saying Oliverio was innocent of wrong-doing, and Marco Island police acted inappropriately in the situation.

On Friday, Hunter went to Joey’s Pizza & Pasta House, a popular Marco Island restaurant on North Collier Boulevard owned by Oliverio, and gave his family a video of the apology. Oliverio embraced Hunter, but the ordeal is something he will never forget.

The arrest on April 21, 2011, shocked the Oliverio family and brought to light a series of events that read like a “CSI: Marco Island” script. Oliverio accepted a 2005 Bentley convertible as collateral for a $56,000 debt owed to him by George Perkins of Chicago. Oliverio leased a Marco Island property to Perkins with an option to buy.

Perkins fell on hard times, Oliverio said, and paid for the lease with a bad check. Perkins convinced Oliverio not to prosecute by offering the high-end car as collateral until the money could be paid back.

Perkins, who returned to Chicago, reported the car stolen to his insurance company. The company immediately put out a stolen vehicle report to police. Later, a surveillance camera in the area where the thief was reported showed the car was never there, and Perkins recanted his story.

The insurance company never pulled the “hot sheet” from police records, Oliverio said, and that’s how things started going terribly wrong. Oliverio was arrested Holy Thursday evening, 2011, for grand theft of a vehicle. The arresting officer was Sgt. Tige Thompson of the Marco Island Police.

The arrest was particularly vicious, Oliverio contended.

“I was surrounded by six cops and pulled out of the car,” he remembered. “They made me kneel down in the middle of Collier Boulevard with guns pulled while they handcuffed me.”

Oliverio said he already had reported his possession of the car to Marco Island police and explained that it was in his garage to cover a debt. While handcuffed, Oliverio pleaded with police to check the record. His wife, Doreen, was seated in another car behind the scene watching helplessly. His son, Santo, also was on scene but was told to stand back or he would be arrested, too.

Oliverio was transported to county jail where he was processed and ordered into an orange jumpsuit. Through the night, Doreen and Santo Oliverio worked to secure his bail and his release. After the arrest, Joey Oliverio was never charged.

“It was so embarrassing,” Joey Oliverio said. “Customers started looking at me in a funny way. On Easter Sunday, I saw customers that ate with me three times a week, and they turned their heads and looked away. Then, they stopped coming in.”

Bloggers labeled him the head of an international classic car theft ring, he said.

Oliverio spoke to Police Chief Thom Carr, Marco Island’s former chief who was active at the time of the arrest, and told him Thompson’s behavior was egregious. Oliverio asked that Thompson be removed from the police force. After an internal affairs investigation, Thompson was demoted from sergeant to patrol officer.

“Chief Hunter and City Manager Jim Riviere took extraordinary steps to make sure a wrong was corrected,” Oliverio said on Friday. “It should make people on this island very proud to know they are in charge.”

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Comments » 31

Throat_Yogurt writes:

MIPD f****** up again. remember when this went down too. Roided out cops with small balls and big ego's. Get rid of all of 'em

marco826 writes:

You can't make up this stuff....

scuba22 writes:

Tige Thompson is the problem in the MIPD,it's sad he is able to teach the children of our community Napleon would be proud of him.

happy6 writes:

joey is such a standup guy...let's name a street after him...this is worse than the academy awards.

woozygirl writes:

Sergeant Thompson got lucky Hunter was not in the house at the time of the arrest. Hunter fired him once before and woulda taken the opportunity to get rid of him again. Sergeant Thompson is walking on eggshells.

JGAFF writes:

Check Collier Co. court records-civil and criminal. Over 40 cases are there related to this outstanding citizen. DUI, battery, mortgage fraud etc. This case-the Bently incident- is related to housing schemes he was involved with.

happy6 writes:

you are 100% correct jgaff...you would think this guy should be citizen of the year...he and his bride are well known at the county courthouse.

marco826 writes:

in response to happy6:

joey is such a standup guy...let's name a street after him...this is worse than the academy awards.

Chief must have cringed...compliment this guy or face another lawsuit..did I mention the pizza sucks? Loudmouth and Foulmouth of the year...well known.

Mayor_McCheese writes:

Thanks JGAFF.

I checked and you are correct. There are several legal matters he has been involved with. Not sure if any of that is relevant here, but this newspaper really ought to do a better job of actually investigating and reporting. If it were not for your reporting JGAFF, No one on this thread would have known what sort outstanding citizen he is.

BTW, the pizza is fairly lame for the NYC, but very good for Marco.

woozygirl writes:

Joe is not a model citizen by any means. Having said that, he never shoulda been arrested based on the information the PD had at hand. The city is lucky Joe worked something out with them so that he would not sue. Just saying!

usmc4mrgi writes:

It's possible that both sides of this are f***ed up. Perhaps Oliverio is shady on some levels. I know nothing about him; but we do need to get some accountability for these SW FL thug cops. I usually don't comment, but CCSO also has some roided out thugs working as cops; believe it Orr not. Guns, badges and roid rage are a dangerous combination.

Waterdog writes:

in response to Mayor_McCheese:

Thanks JGAFF.

I checked and you are correct. There are several legal matters he has been involved with. Not sure if any of that is relevant here, but this newspaper really ought to do a better job of actually investigating and reporting. If it were not for your reporting JGAFF, No one on this thread would have known what sort outstanding citizen he is.

BTW, the pizza is fairly lame for the NYC, but very good for Marco.

Vics Pizza on Collier by Bald Eagle is 100% better!!

panola60 writes:

I hope the MarcoEagle keeps this story on the front page for a couple weeks.

gladesgator writes:

Thanks for the tips on the Pizza guys. I prefer to make my own but not the dough. Anyone know where I can get good pizza dough.

At least some of the comments are worthwhile.

As far as police action, the ones I have met are A-OK. Why berate the whole police force over the actions of one guy?

Maxie writes:

I said at the time that the excesses involved in the incident were spawned by the "hang 'em and hang 'em high" mentality that Thom Carr instilled in his police force. WE were all the enemy if you asked him. Also heard that John Derrig was fired again. Any confirmation on that?

Mayor_McCheese writes:

in response to Waterdog:

Vics Pizza on Collier by Bald Eagle is 100% better!!

Thanks Waterdog. I'll give it a try.
Alvinos on 41 just before 951 also has decent pizza. They will deliver to the base of the bridge. You have to meet them there.

26yearsonmarco writes:

Here is another case were the Gentleman who I knew lent Joey over $1M, and I believe was forced to settle for $100K, and had to drive a Limo to make a living. I would ask the Gentleman for the exact numbers, but he had a heart attack and died in his sleep from the stress.

http://apps2.collierclerk.com/CORPubl...

tathiede writes:

in response to Waterdog:

Vics Pizza on Collier by Bald Eagle is 100% better!!

No! Jimmy's Deli next door to the South of Joey's is way better!

marcotide writes:

in response to 26yearsonmarco:

Here is another case were the Gentleman who I knew lent Joey over $1M, and I believe was forced to settle for $100K, and had to drive a Limo to make a living. I would ask the Gentleman for the exact numbers, but he had a heart attack and died in his sleep from the stress.

http://apps2.collierclerk.com/CORPubl...

or it was made to look like a heart attack....

Mayor_McCheese writes:

in response to 26yearsonmarco:

Here is another case were the Gentleman who I knew lent Joey over $1M, and I believe was forced to settle for $100K, and had to drive a Limo to make a living. I would ask the Gentleman for the exact numbers, but he had a heart attack and died in his sleep from the stress.

http://apps2.collierclerk.com/CORPubl...

After reading all of these comments and looking at your link, I have to say that although none of these other things has anything to do with the guy's seemingly unlawful arrest, what else comes out here in the comments is that he is basically a pretty bad guy. Not a single comment supporting the guy.

If these comments become widely known, he may wish he never got that apology.

I think I will look for other pizza places on Marco to spend my money.

happy6 writes:

you're right mayor...basic bad guy and she is too...that picture is hilarious, i mean it looks like he's getting and award for being a good samaritan...and the s--t eatin' grin on chief "goober's" face.

RayPray writes:

in response to Mayor_McCheese:

After reading all of these comments and looking at your link, I have to say that although none of these other things has anything to do with the guy's seemingly unlawful arrest, what else comes out here in the comments is that he is basically a pretty bad guy. Not a single comment supporting the guy.

If these comments become widely known, he may wish he never got that apology.

I think I will look for other pizza places on Marco to spend my money.

"Not a single comment supporting the guy.

>>> Here we go.

>>> Joey definitely has more brainz than 90% of our City council and a higher standard of ethics than 72% of the MI Keystone Kops.

happy6 writes:

oh yea right ray...when was the last time you held a Bentley for collateral on a million dollar loan...all the while letting your mc mansion go to forclosure and walking it...letting your boat get repossessed...and then getting accolades and apologies.

Maxie writes:

in response to happy6:

oh yea right ray...when was the last time you held a Bentley for collateral on a million dollar loan...all the while letting your mc mansion go to forclosure and walking it...letting your boat get repossessed...and then getting accolades and apologies.

Some guy who felt riding around on a donkey was cool purpotedly said 'let him who is without sin throw the first stone' I suspect few of us could withstand a through background check without something untoward bubbling to the surface. What skeleton is in your well-locked closet?

marco97 writes:

Please tell me what his pizza or personal life has to do with the fact that he was wrongly arrested and the cop who arrested him was demoted.
I also vote the Italian Deli best Pizza on Marco.

marco97 writes:

oubay, were talking NY pizza not German Pizza and the best Pizza is on the island is the Italian Deli, if your not from the northeast white bread with ketchup and cheese will do just fine.

RayPray writes:

in response to GorchFock:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

"Italian Pizzas are the worst. Because Italian never invented Pizzas."

>>> Maybe it was Wolfgang Puck befouling his pie with goat cheese & pinapple?

>>> http://www.passion-4-pizza.com/italia...

"NY are not bad." But second class."

>>> 2nd only to Napoli.

http://www.nypizzasuprema.com/history...

"Marco Island is below average."

>>> In every food dimension

>>> Consider what an obscene joke the German food on the island is....

"CHICAGO! Mafia Pizza"

>>> They put blood in the sauce....

marco97 writes:

Italians did not invent pasta but I like there version better.

marco826 writes:

Joey, Joey....stop acting like citizen of the year...your neighbors know better...

DeniseMarie writes:

Wow! I have been away for a few months and decided to catch up on the news over there on Marco. I have lived on the island for 3 years now full time until recently, and the first people I met were Joey and his family. They were very gracious and kind in welcoming me to the island. They were interested in my life since I had been living in Italy and spoke the language, and showed a genuinely caring concern for me.
After reading this, I felt badly for Joey's family.
Joey is just a guy that never had any direction and just wants attention. Its so obvious. He tries to play the tough guy because he doesn't know any better. He is definitely a loudmouth and can be quite obnoxious, that is for sure, but his wife is very nice and his son Santo is absolutely one of the sweetest guys I know. What a genuinely nice kid he is. I am not sure what to believe here about the house story because I know that were looking to lease out their home, so maybe its true? Maybe this guy didn't pay his lease and Joey just kept his car. That I would believe. So, either way, they were both wrong but were there any crimes committed, not sure. Depends on their contract etc. Anyway, we have to remember to try to be good people and not judge. Its hard to do.
About the police officer's treatment. I think that his force was completely unnecessary and I agree with you all writing about the cops on steroids. That should not be allowed, period. There are some cops that are just tough guys looking for an excuse to get into a fight and be allowed to do it. Police brutality makes me sick and they are the ones that should be in jail. I would have fired that guy involved here. All that nonsense was not necessary at all.
By the way, I am in Italy now and have lived here for many years. The pizza here is excellent, in fact, its nice and thin with such fresh ingredients, not too heavy or spicy, just the way I like it (that is the key, everyone has different tastes and preferences).
I read someone's comment about Italy has lousy pizza, I will bet they have never even eaten a pizza here. You just have to know where to go.....like everywhere. Enjoy Marco, I miss it very much. Will be back in 6 months. Hope you enjoyed that boat parade on Goodland yesterday for Madrigras, looked like a lot of fun!
Ciao a tutti!
di Venezia, Denise

Northerner writes:

in response to Klaus

"who the fu......ck is deniseholymarie??????"

...a freakin wackadoodle!

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