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Marco Island Police Officer
Investigated, Placed on LeaveBy Coastal Breeze News Staff 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 and subsequent internal
investigation in August 2017, involving an alleged aggravated assault with a
deadly weapon against a private citizen while on duty. The Coastal Breeze News
obtained a copy of the incident report via a public records request. It states
that the officer threatened a 20-year-old Marco Island woman, with whom he was
having 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’s wife, via an email message, of the relationship. On August 23, the officer’s
wife met up with the woman in order 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 stated, “she
was not thinking clearly” when she agreed to confront her husband.  The officer’s wife asked him to
meet her at the 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 she did feel that the incident was escalating,
but could not definitively say if she was in fear. During the confrontation the
officer 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 to
Naples together. The 20-year-old woman notified her father of the incident. He then
contacted the Marco Island Police Department. 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,
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 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.Coastal Breeze News will update this story as it develops on
coastalbreezenews.com.      

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