When Richard Reed flashed an honorary District Attorney’s Office investigator badge at Covington police officers in August — part of an incident that has landed him in the St. Tammany Parish Jail charged with kidnapping and sexual battery of an intoxicated woman — it wasn’t the first time he tried to hide behind his brother’s shield.
And it wasn’t the first time that his behavior toward a woman or in a bar had earned him a chat with authorities, either.
But not one of three previous incidents — detailed in reports obtained by The New Orleans Advocate — resulted in a conviction. In two of them, in fact, Reed was never arrested, and in the third one the charge was dropped by a Covington city prosecutor after Reed wrote an apology.
Reed was booked Wednesday after a St. Tammany Parish grand jury indicted him on four counts in connection with the August incident that began at The Chimes Restaurant in Covington: sexual battery, second-degree kidnapping, impeding a witness and intimidation of a police officer. The case is being prosecuted by the state Attorney General’s Office because Walter Reed, still the parish’s district attorney when Richard, his brother, was arrested, recused his office.
As of late Wednesday afternoon, Reed remained in jail, facing a $100,000 bail on the four counts. When he was first booked, on the sexual battery charge only, he posted a $25,000 bond and was released.
Although Reed has no convictions, he has had at least three run-ins with the law. In two of them, the complainants were women who said Reed was harassing them. The first was an ex-girlfriend of Reed, the second a woman to whom he had loaned or given some furniture. The third complaint involved an argument at a popular Covington bar.
In 2004, an ex-girlfriend of Richard Reed’s complained to St. Tammany deputies that Reed was harassing her. She asked them to call him and Walter Reed to get Richard to leave her alone. The woman detailed a litany of events, police reports show.
In June 2000, less than a year after they broke up, Reed entered her house uninvited while she was in her bedroom trying on clothes, the woman said. She saw the bedroom door begin to open slowly and she saw “a hand and a long-sleeve shirt.” The woman screamed and ran into the bathroom to get dressed.
When she emerged, she said, Reed tried to put his arms around her and pull her closer. He would leave, he told her, if she “let him see her bare chest,” the report says. The woman refused, the pair struggled and he pushed her onto an ottoman before leaving.
According to the report, the woman said she did not call police after the incident “because of the ramifications of Reed being the brother of St. Tammany Parish District Attorney Walter Reed and that her boyfriend at the time was working for the District Attorney’s Office.”
Richard Reed later apologized for the incident, both on the phone and in person, the report says.
But three years later, Reed allegedly renewed his unwanted attentions. He called the woman to say he was coming over, the report says. The woman locked all her doors, but when she looked outside, she saw Reed parked in her driveway. She called her boyfriend, who came over and exchanged words with Reed, who left.
The couple then found a message on the woman’s answering machine from Reed, in which he said he would wait in her driveway until she let him in.
The woman declined to comment on the matter Wednesday.
In January 2004, Reed saw the woman and her boyfriend at an event, where he apologized for the incident of the previous year, the report says. But later that night, Reed left a vulgar message on the woman’s voice mail, the woman told a detective. The woman’s daughter later told her that “some guy” had called the house several times during the night.
The report concludes by noting the woman did not want any criminal charges filed, but that she wanted detectives to call Richard Reed and urge him to stop harassing her and to call Walter Reed to ask him to encourage Richard to leave her alone.
The second case, eight years later, involved a different woman, who called the Sheriff’s Office to say that a man was trying to enter her duplex, a report says. A deputy arrived and approached two men who were outside the woman’s house. Richard Reed appeared and said that he and the men were there to pick up some furniture that Reed had loaned to the woman.
When asked for identification, Reed produced an investigator’s badge from the District Attorney’s Office. Reed told the deputy that the badge was honorary and that he had never worked for the DA’s Office, the report says. But he also told the deputy that Walter Reed was his brother.
The woman, who said Reed had given her the furniture, told deputies that Reed had come to the house with the two men, banging on all the doors and windows. She said he pried open the lock to the backyard and sat on the back porch, uninvited, watching the woman through her bedroom window. After 30 minutes, the woman called deputies.
Reed told deputies that he had been sitting on the porch to wait for the woman to “come out and talk.” No arrest was made in the case, and the report was taken “for documentation purposes.”
A spokesman for St. Tammany Parish Sheriff Jack Strain said no arrest was made in the first case at the victim’s request, but he had no explanation for the lack of an arrest in the second matter.
The third incident, which was handled by the Covington Police Department, differs from the others in that it took place in a bar, where an apparently intoxicated Reed first offered a woman $20 to dance with a blind man before he was asked to leave. The police were called, but no report was generated concerning that incident.
Later, however, Reed returned to the bar and poked a bouncer in the chest, calling him a dirty name, a police report said. The bouncer called police, and Reed was arrested, issued a misdemeanor summons for simple battery and released.
Covington City Prosecutor Rene Frederick consulted with the bouncer and deferred prosecution for six months on the conditions that Reed write an apology to the bouncer and stay out of trouble in Covington for six months. Once Reed met those conditions, the charge was dismissed, Frederick said.
Reed’s current legal troubles are far more serious. He faces four felony counts in connection with the August incident in which prosecutors allege he repeatedly groped an intoxicated woman inside The Chimes Restaurant, then forced her into his car in an effort to get away. When he was pulled over by Covington police, he flashed a DA’s investigator badge and later tried to get a restaurant manager to hush up the incident. He then showed up at the police station and tried to get police to release the woman into his custody.
The case rests largely on video footage from cameras inside the restaurant, police dashboard cameras and cameras inside the police station.
Buddy Spell, Reed’s attorney, said Reed was still working on posting the bond needed to get out of the parish jail, where he remains in protective custody due to his relationship to the former district attorney.
Staff writer Sara Pagones contributed to this story.
Follow Faimon A. Roberts III on Twitter, @faimon.