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Southold police officer injured in courtroom struggle; calls for help allegedly not received

A 22-year-old homeless man who was arrested on a trespassing charge allegedly injured a police officer while resisting arrest inside Southold Town Justice Court Monday, Southold Town police said.

Michael Davis had been released on his own recognizance following his arraignment before Judge William Price when he began to make “numerous threats to himself and others,” police said in a press release. A struggle with police and court officers ensued and Mr. Davis was taken back into custody. One officer was injured in the incident, police said.

FetchMugshotServletIn an interview Monday night, Southold Police Benevolent Association president Richard Buonaiuto said the officer’s initial calls for help from inside the courtroom were not received at headquarters. He said the officer had twice attempted to radio for assistance, but received no response. It wasn’t until he called in to say the situation was under control that he was able to make contact, Mr. Buonaiuto said.

“Obviously our officers are pretty upset about what happened in court today,” Mr. Buonaiuto said, adding that it reiterates safety concerns officers have over the department’s radios.

Last month, police expressed concern to the Southold Town Board over the functionality of  radios and what they described as an antiquated dispatch system. Police and the board remain in discussions over updating the system, which is estimated to cost nearly $400,000.

Police did not disclose any specifics of the injuries suffered by the officer, who was identified as Officer Christopher Salmon.

Mr. Davis had been arrested for entering a home on Main Street in Greenport and confronting the homeowner with an air pistol the owner initially believed to be handgun shortly after 8 a.m., police said. He also resisted his initial arrest and intentionally damaged a different officer’s police radio, according to the release.

A homeless woman, Nyasia Coach, 20, who police identified as Mr. Davis’ girlfriend, was also arrested at the scene after she attempted to prevent officers from arresting Mr. Davis, according to the release. She was charged with obstructing governmental administration.

Mr. Davis was charged with criminal trespass, menacing, two counts of criminal mischief, resisting arrest and obstructing governmental administration. After court police charged him with assault and a second count of obstructing governmental administration.

He is being held overnight at police headquarters and is  due back in court for an arraignment on the new charges Tuesday, police said.

Michael Davis booking photo. Credit: Southold PD