Marco Island Police OfficerInvestigated, Placed on LeaveBy Coastal Breeze News Staff A Marco Island police officerhas been placed on paid administrative leave as a result of a 2018 internalaffairs investigation.
The MIPD officer was recently thesubject of a Collier County Sheriff’s Office Incident Report and subsequent internalinvestigation in August 2017, involving an alleged aggravated assault with adeadly weapon against a private citizen while on duty. The Coastal Breeze Newsobtained a copy of the incident report via a public records request. It statesthat the officer threatened a 20-year-old Marco Island woman, with whom he washaving an alleged ongoing sexual relationship. The incident took place in theStarbucks parking lot on Marco Island after the officer discovered the womanand his wife at the location.
According to the report, the20-year-old woman’s father became aware of the affair and notified theofficer’s wife, via an email message, of the relationship. On August 23, the officer’swife met up with the woman in order to “receive answers regarding her husband’srelationship with her.” After their conversation, the pair drove down to MarcoIsland to confront the officer in person. The officer’s wife stated, “shewas not thinking clearly” when she agreed to confront her husband. The officer’s wife asked him tomeet her at the Starbucks. When the women arrived at the location the officerwas 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 myfamily again, I will kill you.
” The report also states that duringthe confrontation the officer “had his hand on his duty weapon,” causing thewoman 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 onhis weapon. She reported that she did feel that the incident was escalating,but could not definitively say if she was in fear.
During the confrontation theofficer allegedly stated, “I’m going home, I’m quitting my job, I’m done,”before getting in his vehicle and leaving the scene. The two women drove back toNaples together. The 20-year-old woman notified her father of the incident. He thencontacted the Marco Island Police Department. On August 28, the woman advisedthe Collier County Sheriff’s Office that she would no longer be cooperating withthe investigation. She signed a refusal to prosecute and the case was closed. According to MIPD captain DavidBaer, no disciplinary action was taken against the officer at that time.Prior to the 2018investigation, the officer remained actively employed by the Marco IslandPolice Department.
As to what spurred the current internal affairs investigation,MIPD police Captain 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 thisstatement to the Coastal Breeze News:The subject matter, reason(s) and action(s) taken by the agencyassociated with this investigation is, by law and procedure, confidential andexempt from public records laws, until the case is closed. We understand thepublic’s interest.
The Department is actively investigating and will releaseinformation as soon as legally possible, however this could be days or weeks inthe future.Coastal Breeze News will update this story as it develops oncoastalbreezenews.com.