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Date of Issue: August 06, 2008

Attorney seeks continuance in blown-kiss case

An attorney was asking for a continuance in the trial of a teenager arrested in connection with an alleged scuffle in April with a Bradenton Beach police officer on Coquina Beach.

The trial of Veronica Lewis, 18, was scheduled to begin this month, but attorney Alex V. Hajaistron requested a continuance due to “outstanding discovery matters.”

The state attorney’s office supported the motion.

Hajaistron also has sought a dismissal of the case, alleging that the officer’s actions rather than the defendant’s actions were “criminal and without probable cause.”

The scuffle occurred after a 14-year-old boy, Lewis’ brother, blew a kiss toward Officer Timothy Matthews on April 20. Matthews has since resigned as a reserve officer from the Bradenton Beach Police Department and taken a post with the Palmetto Police Department.

The two teenagers - Lance Lewis, 14, for felony battery and Veronica were arrested for battery on a law enforcement officer.

Hajaistron filed a motion seeking a dismissal of the case against Veronica Lewis. Records in the case against Lance Lewis, who is being treated as a juvenile, were not available.

A probable cause affidavit filed in the case by BBPD detailed law enforcement’s perspective. Matthews wrote that at about 2:12 p.m. he was driving his patrol car in the parking lot at Coquina Beach “and observed a white male (Lance Lewis) blow me a kiss. I asked him what his problem was and he said, ‘I don’t have a problem N…’ I asked why he would blow me a kiss and he said, ‘F… you.’ There were many young children in the area.”

Matthews reported that when he approached the boy, his “sister Veronica Lewis stepped between us. I told her to move and she pushed me and said, ‘I don’t want my brother arrested.’ I then pushed her out of my way and attempted to grab Lance Lewis and he pushed me away. I grabbed him in a headlock and he kicked me in the left leg. I then took him to the ground and handcuffed him. His sister was grabbing me, trying to pull me off, and I called for officers to assist.”

Hajaistron claimed that Matthews overreacted to the incident and harassed the teens and that Veronica Lewis tried to protect her brother, who was wearing a cast on his arm.

Hajaistron asked for a continuance until at least October.