Covington cops say the St. Tammany DA's brother groped a woman who was very intoxicated at a local bar. They have arrested Richard Reed on sexual battery charges.
Police Chief Tim Lentz says it happened at the Chimes restaurant and bar.
''Mr. Reed is observed in the video groping the lady's breasts along with placing his hands in the area of the woman's genitalia, on more than one occasion,'' the chief said.
Lentz explained that police were called to the restaurant and bar at 19130 West Front Street after management told the intoxicated woman to leave.
He says Reed flashed a district attorney's badge at officers in an effort to get the woman out of trouble.
The chief told how officers paid no attention to Reed and arrested the woman. He says Reed also went to the police station trying to get officers to release the woman to him.
Lentz says he became suspicious about why Reed was so intent on intervening. So, he reviewed surveillance video from inside the establishment. He says what he saw "could only be described as disturbing."
Chief Lentz Interview:
"She resisted his advancements with violence, actually punching and kicking Mr. Reed in an attempt to getaway," Lentz described. "We believe this is what actually caused the disturbance and led them to call the police department.''
The chief said that while Reed flashed the badge trying to get the woman out of trouble, there are no charges related to the badge.
The woman was arrested on a charge of public intoxication. City Prosecutor Renee Frederick has since dismissed the charges against the victim.
Here is the news release:
Chief Tim Lentz announces the arrest of Richard Reed last night on a charge of sexual battery. On Sunday, August 10th, the Covington Police Department received a complaint of an intoxicated female causing a disturbance at a local establishment. Upon arrival, officers were directed to a vehicle leaving the scene and were told the woman was a passenger.
Officers conducted a traffic stop on the vehicle and came into contact with the driver, Mr. Reed, who produced a District Attorney's Office wallet badge. Officers ignored the badge and continued their investigation. As a result, the woman was arrested and transported to the Covington Police Department. Due to her high level of intoxication, medical personnel were summoned to evaluate her for her own safety. The female was ultimately charged with violating the city ordinance for public intoxication.
Mr. Reed came to the Police Department on several occasions that evening attempting to pick up the female, whose name he did not even know. Officers refused to release her to Mr. Reed, whom she had never met prior to that evening, allowing her close friends to pick her up instead.
The following week, video evidence of the incident, including dash cameras and police department surveillance cameras, were reviewed. Chief Lentz personally reviewed the video and interviewed the responding officers when they returned to work Wednesday night (August 13th). It was deemed that the incident warranted further investigation and Friday (August 15th), detectives were able to obtain video from inside the establishment.
Upon reviewing the new evidence, Chief Lentz authorized a criminal investigation into Mr. Reed. The investigation revealed that the female was so highly intoxicated that she was incoherent. While inside the establishment, Mr. Reed made sexual advances toward the incapacitated female that rose to the level of a criminal act.
When the victim realized what was happening, she resisted his advancements violently, kicking and punching Mr. Reed in an effort to get away. We believe tis is what actually led to the disturbance and the call to the Police Department. With this new information, our city prosecutor, Renee Frederick has decided to dismiss the charges against the victim.
A warrant was obtained late yesterday afternoon for Mr. Reed's arrest on a charge of felony sexual battery. Mr. Reed surrendered to officers last night at the police department without incident and was subsequently booked into the St. Tammany Parish Jail. Chief Lentz asks that anyone who may have witnessed the incident please come forward, as the investigation is still ongoing. If you have information related to this incident, please contact the Covington Police Department at (985)892-8500.
Richard Reed, 65 years old, who resides at 928 Village Walk, Covington, Louisiana