A Marco Island police officer has been placed on paid administrative leave as a result of a 2018 internal affairs investigation.
The MIPD officer was recently the subject of a Collier County Sheriff’s Office Incident Report in August 2017, involving an alleged aggravated assault with a deadly weapon while on duty.
The report states that the officer threatened a 20-year-old Marco Island woman. The officer and the woman had an alleged ongoing sexual relationship. The incident took place in the Starbucks parking lot on Marco Island after the officer discovered the woman and his wife at the location.
According to the report, the 20-year-old woman’s father became aware of the affair and notified the officer and his wife via an email message.
On August 23, the officer’s wife met with the woman, as stated in the report, to “receive answers regarding her husband’s relationship with her.” After their conversation, the pair drove down to Marco Island to confront the officer in person.
The officer’s wife asked him to meet her at Starbucks. When the women arrived at the location the officer was already present. Upon seeing them together, he became “furious.”
According to the 20-year-old woman, as set forth in the report, the officer stated, “If you try to contact my family again, I will kill you.”
The report also states that during the confrontation the officer “had his hand on his duty weapon,” causing the woman to fear for her immediate safety.
The officer’s wife, however, claims that at no point during the argument did the officer place his hand on his weapon. She reported that while she did feel that the incident was escalating, she could not definitively say if she was in fear.
On August 28, the woman advised the Collier County Sheriff’s Office that she would no longer be cooperating with the investigation. She signed a refusal to prosecute and the case was closed.
According to MIPD Captain David Baer, no disciplinary action was taken against the officer at that time.
Prior to the 2018 investigation, the officer remained actively employed by the Marco Island Police Department. As to what spurred the current internal affairs investigation, David Baer could not comment.
“I cannot comment on the genesis of the 2018 investigation,” he said. “It is an open investigation.”
Captain Baer issued this statement to the Coastal Breeze News:
The subject matter, reason(s) and action(s) taken by the agency associated with this investigation is, by law and procedure, confidential and exempt from public records laws, until the case is closed. We understand the public’s interest. The Department is actively investigating and will release information as soon as legally possible, however this could be days or weeks in the future.
The release of information concerning departmental investigations of both correctional and law enforcement personnel is defined within Florida State Statutes under 112.533 Officer Bill of Rights. It provides for the protection of the identity of both officer(s) and those of the identity of an accuser(s). This is in an effort to protect the integrity of the investigation and the right to privacy of all parties until that investigation is concluded and there is probable cause to open a formal proceeding.
Coastal Breeze News will update this story as it develops on coastalbreezenews.com.