St. Tammany DA's brother, Richard Reed, arrested - WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports

St. Tammany DA's brother, Richard Reed, arrested

Richard Reed, St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office Richard Reed, St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office
Covington police say Richard Reed flashed them a 22nd Judicial District Attorney's investigator badge like the one shown in this image. Covington police say Richard Reed flashed them a 22nd Judicial District Attorney's investigator badge like the one shown in this image.

Richard Reed, the brother of St. Tammany District Attorney Walter Reed, has been arrested.

St. Tammany Jail states Richard Reed was booked with sexual battery. He posted a $25,000 bond.

Police say that Reed, 65, made sexual advances on an intoxicated woman at The Chimes restaurant in Covington.

In a Louisiana Purchased investigation last week, the chief of police in Covington said the brother of St. Tammany District Attorney Walter Reed flashed a DA's office badge to try and get a woman out of trouble.

Richard Reed has never worked in the DA's office. In the past few weeks, we've told you how he was a longtime employee at St. Tammany Parish Hospital, but resigned in June. FOX 8 News and Times-Picayune uncovered emails from the hospital that showed one employee writing that "St. Tammany Parish hospital made a position for Richard."

According to Covington Police Chief Tim Lentz, Reed was carrying a "wallet badge from the District Attorney's office." Lentz says his officers were called Sunday night to The Chimes restaurant in Covington because of a "very intoxicated female." He says the staff had to physically remove her from the bar.

Officers saw her in a car driving away, and they pulled it over. The driver turned out to be Richard Reed.

Covington police say Reed showed the officers the badge. They ignored it and took the woman to the Covington Police Department. Due to her high level of intoxication, police say medical personnel were called to evaluate her for her own safety.

According to officers, Reed came to the police department several times that evening in an attempt to pick up the woman, whose name he did not know. Officers say they refused to release the woman to Reed, allowing close friends to pick her up instead.

After reviewing video evidence of the incident, including dash cameras and police department surveillance cameras, police say the incident warranted a further investigation.

A criminal investigation was launched against Reed, revealing that the female was so intoxicated that she was incoherent, police say. While inside the establishment, Covington police say Reed made sexual advances toward the incapacitated female that rose to the level of a criminal act.

Officers state that the victim resisted the advances violently when she realized what was happening, kicking and punching Reed to get away. Police believe this is what led to a disturbance call to the police department.

A warrant was obtained on Monday afternoon for Reed's arrest on a felony sexual battery. Reed surrendered to officers Monday night at the police department without incident and was booked into the St. Tammany Parish Jail.

Walter Reed released this statement on his brother:

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. However, because there seems to be an on-going investigation into this matter, additional comment beyond what I can say about my brother would be inappropriate. In terms of the office of the St. Tammany and Washington Parish District Attorney,  I will appropriately recuse myself and my office regarding this issue. 

Questions still remain about the badge Richard Reed showed authorities.

"Even if he did have a legitimate business purpose with the District Attorney's office, why did he have to flash that badge when he was stopped by Covington police officers?" wonders Rafael Goyeneche, president of the Metropolitan Crime Commission. "He was clearly trying to use that badge to affect those officers' enforcement action that they were taking, trying to get them to back off of arresting and responding to a call for service involving the young female that was in the backseat of Mr. Reed's car."

When we asked Walter Reed's office to comment on the incident, his campaign spokesman, Morgan Stewart, sent this statement:

Three decades ago, after winning his first election, [Walter] Reed handed out a few honorary badges as a keepsake. To our knowledge, there has not been any incidents regarding these honorary badges. The badges are strictly honorary and carry no weight of the law behind them. Thirty years later, Mr. Reed does not recall who received the badges.

On May 1, we requested a list of all people who had commissions or badges with office; they supplied a list, but Richard Reed was not on it.

"I've been told that because of this incident, the district attorney's office has now taken that badge back from Richard Reed," Goyeneche tells us. "So that shows that there wasn't a legitimate business purpose for him to have that badge. That was an honorary badge and that's another example of the poor judgment and the lack of leadership and a symptom of all of the disfunctionality that we've seen played out with the St. Tammany district attorney's office over the last several months." 

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