Criminal trial of man who accused Marco police of using excessive force delayed
A family emergency has delayed the criminal trial of a man who accused the Marco Island police of using excessive force during an arrest in May.
The trial of Mont Reed, who faces charges of domestic battery and resisting an officer without violence, was to begin Tuesday but proceedings have been pushed back to July 29.
Reed's attorney, Donald Day, appeared in court on his behalf and was ready for trial but told Judge Tamara Nicole that he did not know the specifics of the emergency and only informed via email.
Reed, 62, and his fiance, Nina McKeough, were arrested in the early hours of May 5 after an Uber driver called 911 to report that Reed had struck McKeough and threatened to do so again,
Reed and McKeough denied that any physical abuse occurred that night or any other time and have opined that the driver was biased due to a bad rating.
After police arrived at their home and attempted to separate both parties as per normal protocol, the situation escalated to where McKeough and Reed were accused of resisting an officer.
While McKeough admitted to grabbing the arm of officer John Derrig as a result of her belief that police were roughing up Reed, the state attorney's office declined to prosecute the charge and cited insufficient evidence to prove it beyond a reasonable doubt.
Dashcam footage from a patrol car that escorted McKeough to the Naples Jail Center showed that an officer picked her up in a cradle-like motion before tossing her into the backseat of the car.
Footage also captured McKeough screaming in pain about her handcuffs and being threatened with OC (pepper) spray if she did not calm down.
It did not capture McKeough's encounter with Derrig nor any of the events that preceded Reed and McKeough being placed in patrol cars.
Although Reed and McKeough suffered bruising as a result of the arrests, no use-of-force reports were filed by any of the officers involved in the incident.
The department’s policy requires a use-of-force report for any officer that uses force, causing any injury, or the officer uses pepper spray, a Taser, baton or firearm.
After the Naples Daily News asked the police department a series of questions and informed it of its intent to publish a story last month, acting Chief Dave Baer emailed then-City Manager David Harden about the need for further investigation.
“The reporter has asked a series of questions and provided what has been asserted as post-arrest photographs which show bruising,” Baer wrote. “I believe the questions and photographs justify further inquiry/vetting. I have asked investigators to review the case, including the additional information provided by the reporter. We are reviewing arrestee/officer actions, as well as associated policies to determine if and to what extent the policies require updating or modification.”
Since then, an internal affairs investigation has been opened after Capt. Rich Stoltenborg contacted McKeough about her options.
McKeough and Reed previously indicated their intent to sue the city of Marco Island once the criminal proceedings have been completed.
There is also a warrant out for Reed's arrest after he is accused of violating the conditions of his pretrial release.
Reed was given a breathalyzer for which he was supposed to take routine readings and register a 0.00 blood-alcohol content.
On June 4, Reed was in Michigan, where he has another home, and registered four tests ranging from .042 to .028 BAC, records indicate.
An affidavit from his pretrial officer indicated that Reed had also submitted 30 late tests and missed six others.