COVINGTON,La. -- Richard Reed, the brother of embattled. St Tammany Parish District Attorney Walter Reed, was booked Monday night on one count of sexual battery into the St. Tammany Parish Jail.
His arrest stems from an incident less than two weeks ago at a Covington restaurant in which police said Richard Reed flashed a DA's office badge to Covington police to try to get an intoxicated woman out of trouble.
It's a story WWL-TV first broke last week.
However, after investigating the incident further, police said Tuesday there was more to the incident.
'The actions of Richard Reed that night can best be described as disturbing,' said Covington Police Chief Tim Lentz at a news conference Tuesday announcing details of the arrest.
On Sunday, Aug. 10, some sort of altercation happened between Reed and a woman at the Chimes restaurant, but Richard Reed turned himself into police Monday night to satisfy an arrest warrant after Lentz said he reviewed hours of surveillance video himself from several sources, including from cameras inside the restaurant.
'Mr. Reed is observed on the video groping the lady's breasts as well as placing his hand in the area of her genitalia on more than one occasion,' Lentz said.
The woman was highly intoxicated, police said, and the video shows that when she realized what was going on, she pushed and kicked Reed away. Lentz said Tuesday that his investigators now believe that incident is what led police to be called to the restaurant.
A witness at the restaurant that night, who didn't want to be identified, said the woman was being flirtatious with a number of men that night. Lentz said their investigation has focused on her interaction with Reed, but that they were collecting all the surveillance video from that evening to get a clearer picture of what all went on.
The woman was ultimately issued a citation for public intoxication.
'Since the issuance of that citation, the chief has asked me to look at additional evidence and based on that additional evidence, the charges against this individual for public intoxication are being dismissed,' said Covington City Prosecutor Rene Frederick.
Police said they pulled Reed's Honda Accord over in the Big Lots' parking lot across from the Chimes Sunday shortly after they responded to the restaurant and found out the woman had left. She was in Richard Reed's car. How she got there is still under investigation.
'We've had no witnesses or no one come forward saying she went in the car against her own will,' Lentz said.
That traffic stop is where police say Reed flashed a district attorney's office badge to try and keep the woman from being arrested.
His brother, District Attorney Walter Reed, later said it was an honorary badge issued to Richard 'decades ago.'
'In this particular case, as far as I understand, he legitimately possesses that badge. And again, we gave it no weight or value in our investigation,' Lentz said.
St. Tammany activist Belinda Parker-Brown said Tuesday that the honorary badges that are issued by law enforcement exemplify the perceived corruption in St Tammany Parish.
'Just because you are a friend or a family member or someone who donates money to his campaign -- you commit the crime, you do the time. Everyone should be treated equally,' she said.
Police said it wasn't the badge that made them take a closer look at the case, but Richard Reed's behavior. He went back to the police station three times to pick the woman up. However, police said she didn't know him and she didn't leave with him.
'That, in itself, was alarming to me. Why come to the police department to try to pick up a woman from a police officer who you don't even know her name?' Lentz said.
Eventually, two of the woman's friends picked her up and took her home. Because of her level of intoxication an ambulance was called to check on her. Lentz said Tuesday that she didn't remember anything about the incident.
Walter Reed issued a statement about his brother's arrest through his spokesman.
'While I am not privy to all the details of what may or may not have happened, it is clear that this is an uncertain situation. And while I love my brother, I can only speak for myself as Richard's brother and not in any official capacity,' Walter Reed's statement said.
Richard Reed posted a $25,000 bond Monday night.
Because sexual battery is a felony, the case will go to the St Tammany District Attorney's Office for prosecution.
Walter Reed has already said he plans to recuse the office from prosecuting it.