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Ravenstahl spokesman arrested in Florida in November

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Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2013, 2:03 p.m.
 

Matt Harringer, communications director for Mayor Luke Ravenstahl's re-election campaign, said on Wednesday that police in West Palm Beach, Fla., arrested him as he tried to stand up to a perceived injustice.

“On Nov. 30 I witnessed a man, who was fully restrained on his stomach, physically mistreated by a police officer,” Harringer said in a statement. “At that time, I began asking for the officer's badge number and attempting to record the incident, after which I was detained.”

Harringer, 24, said his attorney will meet with prosecutors this week, and he expects the issue to be resolved.

“There's nothing to it,” said Harringer's attorney, Robert Patrick Foley of Jupiter, Fla. “It will go away.”

Police charged Harringer with resisting arrest without violence, and he was released on $1,000 bond, court records show.

The Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office issued a warrant for his arrest Jan. 23 when he failed to appear for his arraignment, but Harringer blamed that on a miscommunication.

“At the time of my arrest, I was not given a notice of arraignment, and neither my lawyer nor I were aware of the arraignment, (and) I did not appear,” he said.

A West Palm Beach police report states that Harringer repeatedly asked for the officer's badge number before the man being arrested was fully restrained or in custody. The report states that Harringer told a woman whom the man was accused of assaulting not to answer questions from police.

Harringer said he is not involved in the man's case.

TV stations brought the warrant to his attention on Wednesday, Harringer said. He contacted the sheriff's office, he said, which told him that there no longer was a warrant.

The sheriff's office said no one was available for comment.

Ravenstahl said Harringer told him about the arrest after he joined the campaign.

“In my mind, it was much ado about nothing. I'm not going to make any changes,” Ravenstahl said.

The campaign announced Harringer as communications director Jan. 28.

Craig Smith is a staff writer at Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-380-5646 or csmith@tribweb.com.

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