UPDATE: The State Attorney’s Office dropped a misdemeanor battery charge against Nancy Texeira on Dec. 16.
Ron Sachs, Texeira’s friend, called the arrest "bogus" and the arresting officers "overzealous."
Since the charges were dropped, Sachs said Texeira has been offering pro bono work for various criminal justice reform organizations.
Original report Oct. 25, 2016:
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A political consultant for the Innovate Florida, a political action committee chaired by state Sen. Bill Galvano, R-Bradenton, was arrested late Saturday on a simple battery charge, according to the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office.
Nancy Texeira, a 36-year-old former charter school lobbyist who now does consulting for the PAC, was arrested around 1:30 a.m. on Oct. 22 by Deputy Grant Steube, the sheriff’s son, outside of the Mobil gas station/bar on University Parkway in Lakewood Ranch.
According to the probable cause affadavit, Texeira allegedly took a man’s cell phone and punched him several times in front of a bartender, with red marks on his face to match the story. Steube said in the report that she appeared to be under the influence.
The victim, who spoke with Politico Florida, said he had gone to the gas station to buy items and saw Texeira looking distressed near a minivan. He said she was repeating that she was “really scared” and didn’t know the man who she was with, who was her Uber driver.
The victim told the gas station/bar attendant, made his purchases and went into the bathroom, but realized he had forgotten his phone at the bar, according to Politico. Texeira was sitting next to where his phone was, according to the victim, and he asked her where the phone was.
According to the victim, Texeira “got defensive” and “started screaming” and punching him.
The victim told Politico that he wasn’t sure if he was going to press charges.
On the other side of the story, veteran political consultant Ron Sachs spoke to Politico on Texeira’s behalf, saying a “bogus” Uber driver wouldn’t let her out of the car until they got to the Mobil station.
Sachs said Texeira went to the gas station’s bar to charge her phone after a political fundraiser in Sarasota for the Florida Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee when the alleged victim accused her of stealing his phone, grabbed her purse and started searching through it.
According to Sachs’ account to Politico, Texeira “flailed her arms in a way that caused her to loosen his grip on her personal property.”
Texeira was released from the Manatee County jail after paying a $500 bond.