Charlottesville Attorney Speaks Out Against Arrest
Jeffrey Fogel, a former candidate for Charlottesville commonwealth's attorney, is publicly talking out about a trio of complaints he filed over his arrest.
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - A former candidate for Charlottesville commonwealth's attorney is publicly talking out about a trio of complaints he filed over his arrest.
Attorney Jeffrey E. Fogel says he shouldn't have been placed under arrest in the first place.
Seventy-two-year-old Fogel is accused of shoving Caleb Norris on the Downtown Mall around 9:50 p.m. on Thursday, June 1. Norris went to the Charlottesville Police Department that night to file a report. Fogel also filed a report with police.
Several officers arrested Fogel at his home around 12:30 a.m. Friday, June 2. He is charged with misdemeanor assault and battery.
The attorney has filed a complaint against Magistrate Justin Craig Garwood, who issued the warrant for his arrest, as well as two Charlottesville police officers who carried out Garwood's request.
"What he told me when I was brought in in handcuff was the reason that he did that - which was to say order me arrested rather than initiate the process by simply giving me a summons and having me appear in court - is that he did not like the way I spoke to the sergeant in the police department, and I was frankly amazed," Fogel said.
Fogel wrote to Chief Magistrate Avnel A. Coates, "He [Garwood] said to me he did so because he “did not like the way[I] spoke to the Sergeant.” That is what he told me and that is what he meant."
A Charlottesville police source confirms they do have body camera footage of Fogel's arrest, but declined to describe the attorney’s demeanor in it. NBC29 submitted a Freedom of Information Act request for the footage, but was denied due to it being part of an on-going investigation.
Fogel believes he should not have been arrested at his home, and that Garwood should have issued a summons. His letter to Coates argues:
"You [Coates] further assert that the fact that I was charged with an assault also reasonably led to the conclusion that I was a danger to the community and justified my arrest. Yet the state law governing the determination of whether to issue a summons specifically includes Class I misdemeanors, which includes the offense for which I was charged. Moreover, the magistrate knew that, according to the victim, he was not harmed in any way."
In a letter to Fogel, Coates said she reviewed the complaint and wrote Garwood used "reasonable judgement [sic] and discretion."
Coates' letter to Fogel also states:
"Magistrate Garwood used reasonable, professional judgement in making a bond determination. Based on the facts in front of him (the charge, lack of criminal history, ties to the community, etc.), you were released on an unsecured bond in the amount of $2,500.00 and not held without bond. How someone presents in front of the magistrate is highly considered in bond hearings."
On the officer complaints, a Charlottesville police spokesperson says they will thoroughly investigate it as they do with all complaints.
A special prosecutor will be assigned in Fogel’s case. The attorney is scheduled to be back in court on Wednesday, July 5.