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Bystander video may exonerate man arrested during Naples protest

Bystander video may exonerate man arrested during Naples protest
Posted at 6:37 PM, Jun 03, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-03 18:37:15-04

NAPLES — The attorney for a man, arrested during Monday’s protest in Naples, said he’s innocent.

Philip Galvan drove his car into an intersection full of protesters and deputies, but his attorney said, newly surfaced video, taken by a bystander, may prove that deputies weren't accurate on their arrest report.

In the video, you can see Galvan's SUV approach the line of officers, but he doesn’t seem to actually hit them.

“His car never came close to the officers, his car never struck the officers, he was going very slow," said Galvan's attorney, Joshua Faett.

Faett said the arresting deputy just made a lot of his report up.

“I was really upset to see that the officer’s report was just completely false, and if it wasn’t for this bystander’s video, we wouldn’t know what the truth was," said Faett.

The police report also said the deputy “Jumped into the passenger side of the vehicle and went for the ignition key." But Faett said that isn’t true either.

“It says he literally had to jump into the vehicle and turn off the ignition, and when you watch the video, it’s a pretty casual gait over to the car to open it," said Faett.

The report states that Galvan told police he was not a part of the protest and was trying to get to his brother’s house. Faett said, when Galvan realized he was approaching the crowd, he tried to turn around, but struggled due to the protest. Right now, the only charge Galvan is facing is reckless driving for having someone holding onto the back of his car, but Faett said that was out of Galvan’s control.

“I don’t believe that he knew who that was, and I don’t know, when you look at it, I don’t know that he was aware that they were on there at the time," said Faett.

Faett said, without the new bystander video, Galvan could have faced felony charges and possible jail time.

“What’s disturbing is it seems as if these bystander videos are what’s policing the police," said Faett.

We did reach out to the Collier County Sheriff’s Office, and they responded, saying "Our deputy’s actions were lawful and the case is now in the hands of the judicial system."

Meanwhile, Galvan is out on bail, and Faett said he plans to fight the reckless driving charge as well, and hopes to get it dropped.