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State Attorney’s Office says no crime committed in confrontation between Stewart, builder

By Staff | Jan 4, 2010

A verbal exchange between Cape Coral’s former city manager and a local businessman will not result in an investigation by the State Attorney’s Office, officials there said Monday afternoon.
The agency agrees with the findings of the Cape Coral police officer who took the citizen complaint. The officer found Terry Stewart’s alleged comments to builder Mark D. Creighton at the Home Depot on Skyline Boulevard Sunday did not meet statutory criteria to constitute an assault.
No charges have been filed nor are charges being considered at this time.
“We did look at the material that was provided to us by the Cape Coral Police Department, a few sheets of paper,” said Samantha Syoen, spokeswoman for State Attorney’s Office.
Based on a preliminary review, officials with the State Attorney’s Office agree with the findings of the officer who wrote up a report of the alleged incident, she said.
“We agree with him that the elements of a crime were not met,” Syoen said. “A crime was not committed.”
The State Attorney’s Office has been in touch with the Cape Coral Police Department in regards to its findings.
“There will be no charges,” she said.
If additional information comes to light, the State Attorney’s Office will look at that, Syoen added.
According to the incident report, Creighton advised Cape police that Stewart confronted him at the home improvement store, becoming confrontational, threatening, and profane. He told the officer who came to his home to take the report that Stewart, who Creighton said accused him of having a role in his “losing his job as Cape Coral City Manager” then confronted him again in the Wal-Mart Parking lot on Skyline Boulevard.
Police took a second statement Monday from Frank Dethlefsen, who was with Creighton at the Home Depot when the first confrontation was alleged to have occurred. Dethlefsen, who serves with Creighton on the downtown Community Redevelopment Agency board, also told the officer Stewart was profane and irate.
Dethlefsen said he stepped in and told Stewart to stop and he did.
Police said since no “direct threats were made, this encounter does not fit the Florida statute for assault.”
Stewart, who is in contention for the interim Fort Myers Beach Town manager’s job, could not be immediately reached for comment.
Dethlefsen declined comment.