Public Works Operations Manager Neil Martin was arrested Wednesday, May 27, at Whitney Beach Deli & Wines, 6852 Gulf of Mexico Drive, for disorderly intoxication and verbally abusing Longboat Key police officers and restaurant patrons.
Town Manager Bruce St. Denis has placed Martin, who has 31 years of service with the town, on unpaid administrative leave while the incident is under investigation.
Martin, 54, and another public works employee were drinking alcohol at the restaurant for approximately one-and-a-half hours before Martin was arrested about 8 p.m. Wednesday, according to restaurant employees.
The incident did not take place during Public Works work hours.
According to the police report, restaurant employees said Martin and the town employee consumed “significant amounts of alcohol” before Martin was cut off after spilling a drink.
Whitney Beach Deli & Wines owner Andrew Hlwya told police that Martin became loud in the bar and verbally abusive to a restaurant patron after being told he would no longer be served.
Martin and the town employee attempted to leave in the employee’s car, but a restaurant employee stopped them, took the car keys and called a taxi.
When police officer Doug Coffman and Capt. Pete Cumming arrived on the scene, they discovered Martin and the town employee sitting in the car.
Martin began to yell and curse at both police officers. Martin was arrested after several attempts to calm him down were unsuccessful.
Police Chief Al Hogle called the incident “an unfortunate situation.”
“It was a matter of two town employees having a great time and one of them causing a lot of racket,” Hogle said.
The town employee accepted a cab ride home and is back at work today.
Martin was transported to Manatee County jail and charged with disorderly intoxication. He was charged with a $50 misdemeanor at the Manatee County Clerk of Circuit Court Thursday, May 28.
Contact Kurt Schultheis at email@example.com.
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