Rick LoCastro suffers medical emergency as prosecutors issue warrant for his arrest

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The investigation dates back to a dispute with a girlfriend in November.

Collier County Commissioner Rick LoCastro has suffered a “medical emergency,” according to his campaign. The news comes the same day prosecutors issued a warrant for the Marco Island Republican’s arrest over a domestic incident.

LoCastro’s current condition remains unknown, and NCH Downtown Naples Hospital said no patient with his name has been admitted. Campaign officials said they had no additional information to release at this time.

The news came after his campaign issued a lengthy statement attributed to LoCastro denying wrongdoing. The situation has generated speculation throughout Naples about the current location and well-being of LoCastro, who has yet to surrender to authorities.

The statement issued by LoCastro’s campaign this afternoon acknowledged the warrant for his arrest. In what appeared to be a carefully worded, pre-written statement, LoCastro denied any wrongdoing alleged by a former romantic partner.

“I am saddened to share that the Monroe County State Attorney’s office has pressed charges against me for something I did not do,” LoCastro said. “From the outset, let me be clear: the charges against me are false. They have no merit. I have never done anything to harm any person, physically or otherwise.”

Naples Police in October investigated a reported dispute between LoCastro and his girlfriend at the London Club located within the Bellasera Hotel, according to WINK News.

Police reports show police interviewed the woman in October and she had a bloody nose. LoCastro said she hurt herself falling out of a vehicle, but the woman claimed LoCastro tore her from the vehicle. No arrest was immediately made.

The woman later filed a report to Marco Island Police alleging prior abuse in a battery at a previous debate.

After the warrant was issued, LoCastro’s statement maintained his version of events.

“Four months ago, my date at a social engagement became very intoxicated and fell,” the statement read.

“Police officers at the scene determined there were no injuries nor any indication of wrongdoing. That evening, she did not blame me or anyone else; she described it as the accident it was. Later, she chose to tell a much different story. I’m grieved that she would falsely accuse me or anyone else. But I am not afraid of the truth or the facts. They will exonerate me. I have fully cooperated at every step of this matter, which should have been closed four months ago.”

Based on LoCastro holding elected office in Collier County, Gov. Ron DeSantis reassigned handling of the case to the neighboring 16th Judicial Circuit in Monroe County.

LoCastro’s statement said the court of public opinion too often judges public figures as guilty before all facts come out, but that he was confident the legal system would ultimately exonerate him.

“My entire career has been about service to others, and I do not retreat from that duty now,” he said. “Our legal system is absolutely vital, and it should never be abused. We will work to ensure the truth is made known according to the due process of law.”

Jacob Ogles

Jacob Ogles has covered politics in Florida since 2000 for regional outlets including SRQ Magazine in Sarasota, The News-Press in Fort Myers and The Daily Commercial in Leesburg. His work has appeared nationally in The Advocate, Wired and other publications. Events like SRQ’s Where The Votes Are workshops made Ogles one of Southwest Florida’s most respected political analysts, and outlets like WWSB ABC 7 and WSRQ Sarasota have featured his insights. He can be reached at [email protected].


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