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Date of Issue: July 13, 2006

Man arrested after fight with lifeguards at Coquina

An argument over drinking beer at Coquina Beach July 2 resulted in a scuffle with lifeguards and the arrest of a Bradenton man on battery and vehicular charges.

According to reports, Rodney Reinhold, 63, was spotted drinking beer by Manatee County Marine Rescue's Rex Beach and Carter McFee in a prohibited area of Coquina Park. When the lifeguards approached Reinhold about the matter, he became belligerent, a Bradenton Beach police report said.

When lifeguards told Reinhold they were going to contact law enforcement because he would not comply with their requests to dispose of the beer, Reinhold attempted to leave the park. Reinhold allegedly put his car in reverse and struck the all-terrain vehicle McFee was sitting on. Then Reinhold moved forward slightly and backed up, again striking the county vehicle McFee was driving.

On his third attempt to get out of the parking space, Reinhold did so and attempted to leave Coquina Park, the report said.

McFee and Beach, acting out of fear for public safety and the safety of Reinhold, said they pursued Reinhold on their all-terrain vehicle in an attempt to stop him until police arrived.

The lifeguards were able to stop Reinhold on an access road before he reached the main road. Reinhold got out of his vehicle and again began to act hostile and belligerent toward the lifeguards and then attempted to get back in his vehicle, but was blocked by Beach, according to the lifeguards' statements.

Reinhold tried to shove Beach out of the way, at which point McFee took Reinhold to the ground to gain control and stop a further attack.

When police arrived, Reinhold was belligerent with them, as well.

When police ran a check on Reinhold, they discovered his license had been suspended twice; once for DUI and once for failure to pay traffic fines.

Bradenton Beach Police compared marks on the all-terrain vehicle with marks on Reinhold's car, satisfying themselves that the crash had indeed occurred.

Reinhold was arrested and charged with felony battery, driving while license suspended (with knowledge) and leaving the scene of a crash without giving information.