It seems to happen on the weekends downtown a lot – a 20-something drinks too much, gets a little loud and causes a scene. But last weekend in Orlando, one of those 20-somethings – an aide to City Councilwoman Regina Hill – ran afoul of an off-duty Orlando police officer who decided to take action.
On Friday, Aug. 8, Orlando police officer Jason Hajek was working in uniform on an “extra-duty” assignment at the box office of Cobb Plaza Cinema Café when Cara Victoria Reaves, an aide to Hill, approached the box office. According to the case narrative sent by the police on Monday morning, Hajek says she had “difficulty communicating” and that she was “rambling and had difficulty forming complete sentences.” She and her friend, identified as Roland Dorough, paid for their tickets and entered the theater lobby. The report says they were loud and began an argument in the concession line. So Officer Hajek – who says he could smell “the distinct odor of alcohol on her breath” – told them to cut it out. A little while later, the two were asked to leave by a manager, and Hajek says in his narrative that “an unidentified white female stated to me that she felt threatened by Reaves and that she said she was going to fight her.” Hajek placed Reaves under arrest, and Dorough allegedly approached the officer, “squared his shoulders to me, placed his hands on his hips, and then verbally stated, ‘Then do it, arrest me.’” So he did.
The two were brought downtown for processing, and somehow in the process, Reaves was injured. Police say that while being taken to the hospital for her injuries – which she has told the media were inflicted upon her while in police custody – she poked an officer in the chest and scratched him, leaving “an approximately one half-inch scratch” on the officer’s arm. For that, she was then charged with battery on a law enforcement officer. Reaves has asked that the incident be investigated by the city.
UPDATE: The Orlando Police Department issued the following statement on Aug. 12 regarding Reaves' arrest:
"On 8/9/2014, Cara Reaves was arrested by members of the Orlando Police Department. Unfortunately, Ms. Reaves told local media she was treated unjustly by the arresting officers. Whenever, Orlando Police Officers are forced to overcome any resistance by an arrestee, especially in situations where injury is evident or implied, a supervisor completes an investigation and documents their findings on a Response to Resistance form. The supervisor attempts to obtain statements from the individual whom force was used on, witnesses, and involved officers. Video or photos are also obtained to assist in completing the report. All of which was done with Ms. Reaves' incident.
"Reaves was arrested and charges with Trespass After Warning, Disorderly Intoxication, and Battery on a Law Enforcement Officer. To date, a formal complaint has not been filed with the Orlando Police Department by Ms. Reaves."