An influential police union leader from Miami was suspended last month following an incident in Tallahassee involving a man he met on the gay dating app Grindr.
A January 11 report from the Tallahassee Police Department reveals that Miami Police Department Sgt. Tommy Reyes, the openly gay president of Miami’s Fraternal Order of Police union, was nearly charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon for pulling a gun on his one-night stand after the man stole his wallet during their liaison and attempted to blackmail him, according to the Miami New Times.
Reyes, 36, who has, since 2018, led Miami’s local FOP chapter — which negotiates police contracts with the City of Miami on behalf of the union’s members — informed his union that he was suspended.
“I was [relieved of duty] based on an anonymous complaint,” he wrote in an email to FOP members. “I cannot go into details as it is an open investigation, I will stand strong and tell you my brothers and sisters that I was the victim of a crime, and I am once again being victimized by some of our own people.”
According to the Tallahassee police report, Reyes met his date, described as a “young Hispanic male,” at a Hampton Inn & Suites hotel while Reyes was visiting Tallahassee. Reyes confirmed to the New Times that he is the other party in the report, which has been heavily redacted to protect the identities of Reyes and his hookup partner.
The date allegedly met Reyes at the hotel, entering the room while Reyes was turned around to conceal his face, and the sexual encounter went poorly.
The date told Tallahassee police officers that he pretended to ejaculate by spitting on Reyes’ back and took Reyes’ wallet before leaving because he was afraid Reyes would “mess with him.”
But Reyes told police that when the date found his MPD badge and law enforcement credentials inside the pilfered wallet, the date began sending him messages on Grindr trying to “blackmail” him.
The date claimed that Reyes had agreed to let him go on a “shopping spree” if he returned the wallet.
Reyes said he never consented to such an arrangement, and that his date used his American Express card without his permission to purchase several items from a Best Buy store, including computer gaming accessories and a $10 donation to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, racking up charges of $1,310.71.
According to the police report, Reyes and the date met up later that day to exchange the wallet at the Hampton Inn parking lot.
While they were seated inside the date’s car, the date claimed he asked Reyes to empty his pockets to reveal any weapons he might have been carrying, at which point Reyes allegedly emptied his pockets and reached over from the passenger seat to remove the car keys from the ignition.
The date reminded Reyes that he still had his wallet, to which Reyes allegedly quipped, “And I’ve got a gun.”
Reyes then grabbed a concealed gun and pointed it at the date, at which point the two exited the vehicle and Reyes kept the weapon trained on him and ordered him to the ground.
Reyes told officers he simply wanted to detain the date until police arrived, but did not issue any law enforcement commands or attempt to make an arrest — an action prohibited outside of his jurisdiction.
Security footage from hotel video cameras shows Reyes pointing a gun at a young man and grabbing his arm before cutting out to show the young man fleeing the parking lot.
The date later told police that Reyes put his knee on his back and allegedly yelled, “I should fucking kill you!” before the young man was able to escape.
Police officers responding to a report of a robbery encountered Reyes at the hotel, who recounted the event from his perspective. Officers then looked up the owner of the vehicle, who was the date’s mother. She promised officers she could persuade her son to meet with them at the Florida A&M University police department, where he later gave a sworn statement.
The date showed responding officers injuries that he had allegedly received from Reyes, including “scrapes” on his left knee and elbow, “cuts,” “possible bruising,” and a “wound on the back of his head which was red and had dried blood on it,” where hair was also missing.
Because Reyes had blocked the date on Grindr, their conversation disappeared and the date was unable to show officers their messages. Reyes provided the messages to a Tallahassee police investigator, who reviewed them on January 19 and determined that the date was trying to “extort/blackmail” Reyes if he did not take him on a “shopping spree.”
Tallahassee Police Department officer Eric Scarbrough wrote that Reyes was initially the victim of petit theft (or “petty theft”), but because he drew his weapon and pinned the date to the ground, there was probable cause to charge him with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon without intent to kill — a third-degree felony under Florida law.
The case was forwarded to the Tallahassee-Leon County State Attorney’s Office, which declined to bring charges owing to “no reasonable likelihood of prosecution.”
Reyes’ case was closed and deemed “exceptionally cleared.” However, on February 17, a month after the alleged incident, Reyes was relieved of duty, with pay, pending the results of an internal affairs investigation. That investigation remains ongoing.
“I was a victim and I have nothing to hide but I cannot comment on an open investigation,” Reyes told the New Times. “I was a victim of a crime, and Tallahassee PD victimized me again.”
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