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Judge: I didn’t know suspect had been uncooperative

08/10/2016 1:19 PM |

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The Southold Town judge who had released without bail the man whom police say immediately fought with officers after he was freed Monday said in court he wasn’t aware of the full situation before setting no bail. 

In a statement before the court Wednesday morning, Judge William Price said he was later told his decision to release Michael Davis without bail was wrong. 

Mr. Price blamed faulty paperwork that didn’t explain police had trouble getting Mr. Davis to cooperate at headquarters. The judge said he was only informed that the defendant may need a psychiatric evaluation. 

“The information I should have known I could not have known,” Mr. Price said before Mr. Davis’ court appearance Wednesday.

Mr. Davis had been initially arrested for confronting a Greenport man in his home with an air pistol the homeowner thought was a handgun shortly after 8 a.m. Monday, according to a police press release. He resisted his initial arrest and was taken into custody, police said.

Mr. Davis’ reported girlfriend, 20-year-old Nyasia Coach, was also arrested at the scene after she tried to stop officers from arresting Mr. Davis, according to the press release. She was charged with obstructing governmental administration, a misdemeanor, and held in county jail, authorities said.

Mr. Davis was arraigned later Monday and released on his own recognizance by Mr. Price. But police said he began to make “numerous threats to himself and others,” and struggled with a police officer and two court officers, who eventually subdued him.

One officer, Christopher Salmon, was injured in the incident and was briefly hospitalized, said Police Benevolent Association President Richard Buonaiuto.

According to Mr. Buonaiuto, Mr. Salmon attempted to call for backup but because of a radio dead zone, the calls for help never went through. Twenty police officers attended a Town Board meeting the next night for an update on the radio issues, with Mr. Buonaiuto saying a fix was of “critical” importance.

Town Supervisor Scott Russell said a consultant was set to be hired Wednesday to evaluate the communications system and suggest solutions, adding that he would find funding to cover the costs of any needed upgrades.

Mr. Davis was charged with criminal trespass, menacing, two counts of criminal mischief, resisting arrest and obstructing governmental administration in connection with the Greenport arrest. On Wednesday, Mr. Price set a new bail of $5,000 cash or $10,000 bond for those charges.

However, Mr. Davis was not arraigned on  new charges of assault and obstructing governmental administration related to the alleged Monday court incident because an attorney from the Legal Aid Society was unable to attend the arraignment. 

Mr. Davis will be arraigned on those charges Thursday morning. 

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