PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Hired a few weeks ago to be Mayor Luke Ravenstahl’s campaign spokesman, Matt Harringer found himself — not his boss — to be the subject of a news story.
“I was arrested,” Harringer told KDKA political editor Jon Delano.
The arrest occurred last November when Harringer was detained by West Palm Beach Police in Florida for a misdemeanor charge of obstructing an investigation without violence.
“I had been out with some friends when I saw an African American male fully detained and restrained on the ground on the sidewalk and what I believed to see was a police officer mistreating him,” said Harringer.
Harringer said he saw the officer kicking the male.
“I thought it was important to try to do something about it, so I asked another officer for their badge numbers and attempted to record some of it on a phone,” Harringer said.
But Florida police say Harringer’s multiple requests and refusal to stay away from the scene interfered with their investigation.
Mayor Ravenstahl stands behind Harringer.
“Much ado about nothing,” said Ravenstahl. “He was there protecting this individual on the ground who in his mind was the victim of police brutality, and I think that’s a good and noble thing to do.”
Harringer says an earlier warrant for his arrest was a misunderstanding and has been rescinded.
“I think he did the right thing that night, and he has my full support,” added the Mayor.
Harringer says a prosecutor from the state attorney’s office in Florida will meet with his attorney and a judge on Friday.
He’s hopeful the charges will be dismissed, and he will continue his role as the spokesperson for Mayor Ravenstahl’s campaign.