Rick LoCastro bonds out of jail, appears at Collier Co. meeting remotely

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After a hospitalization the day a warrant was issued, LoCastro on Monday surrendered to authorities.

Collier County Commissioner Rick LoCastro was arrested and has bonded out of the Collier County Jail. But for the moment, he still holds office.

A warrant for the Marco Island Republican was issued last week by the Monroe County State Attorney’s Office, but he was not immediately arrested because of a medical emergency. The cause of his hospitalization has fueled speculation in political circles in the county, but he was ultimately released on Monday and surrendered to authorities

The Collier County Sheriff’s Office said the 57-year-old was in jail for a brief time before paying a $1,000 bond.

Records show he was booked on a single battery charge.

Gov. Ron DeSantis took questions about LoCastro at a Tuesday press conference, and said he won’t hesitate to suspend LoCastro if the case warrants that action.

“If somebody is brought up on charges, sometimes that can trigger that suspension power that we do,” DeSantis said. “I don’t have any information beyond just the fact that he was arrested. So we kind of let this play out, and then as we get the facts, if I have to act, then we will act.”

As for LoCastro, he attended a Collier County Commission meeting on Tuesday remotely after his release from custody. He suggested it was concerns outside his legal woes that stopped him from attending the meeting in person.

“I thank you for your kind and supportive words of issues I am dealing with, mostly with my mother,” he said over Zoom.

“We’re going to be talking about some important things today and I am well caught up. We’ll be filing false police reports, but that’s going to come at another time. I’ll just say that as an unsolicited announcement.”

The charges stem from an incident in October. A Naples police report shows LoCastro and his girlfriend at the time got into an argument at the London Club that prompted a call to authorities. The woman’s name is redacted in reports.

LoCastro told police that she had torn his pants while he was settling a bill at the club and had suffered a bloody nose there. He also said she fell out of an open vehicle door on First Avenue, and later into a bush, while she was intoxicated.

The woman at the scene corroborated that story and declined medical attention. Police said she appeared drunk at the time. LoCastro and the woman left the scene separately.

Later, she called Marco Island Police and reported prior abuse by LoCastro in a different dispute.

Because of LoCastro’s elected position, DeSantis assigned the investigation of the claims to the Monroe State Attorney’s Office, which sought his arrest.

LoCastro’s political campaign released a statement the day a warrant was issued maintaining his recollection of events.

“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,” the statement read. “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.”

It later became clear LoCastro had been hospitalized at the time the statement was sent to media. His attorney, Donald Day, told Florida Politics last week that LoCastro would be quickly discharged.

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A.G. Gancarski of Florida Politics contributed to this report.

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].


One comment

  • Dont Say FLA

    February 24, 2024 at 6:43 pm

    G0Ps be keepin’ it classy on LIttle Marco Island

Comments are closed.


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