A council member for the city of Okeechobee is facing criminal charges for hurting a woman preventing her from calling 911, according to an Okeechobee Police report.
Deputies with the Okeechobee Sheriff's Office arrested Michael "Mike" O'Connor on May 24 on a warrant from police for threatening a victim or witness and battery. The Okeechobee city attorney is advising the governor to suspend O'Connor because it is a felony arrest.
Surveillance video from O'Connor's gun store allegedly captured O'Connor pushing and grabbing the woman during an argument inside the store. The woman called 911 but O'Connor shoved her into a cabinet and ripped the phone from her hand, the report states.
Dispatchers say they heard the woman screaming for help and O'Connor yelling at her. State records show O'Connor is the owner of Mike's Okeechobee Guns.
O'Connor asked deputies while he was being taken to the jail if his arrest stems from the video investigators obtained, the report states.
"I guess I shouldn't have given it to her then," O'Connor reportedly told a detective. Details of the investigation and contents of the video have not been released yet.
"It appears the incident complained of is a domestic matter, unrelated to Councilman O'Connor's office and duties with the city of Okeechobee," Okeechobee City Administrator Marcos Montes De Oca said in a letter addressed to Governor Rick Scott. He said the city is not advocating a position, but the city attorney advises Scott suspend O'Connor.
O'Connor has served on the Okeechobee City Council since 2009, and also served from 1993-1997, according to the Okeechobee News. His term is set to end in November 2020, according to the city.
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