KEY WEST, Fla. – A federal law enforcement officer accused of stalking and battering his ex-girlfriend in Key West pleaded no contest Wednesday to two misdemeanor charges and was released from jail, his attorney tells Local 10 News.
Scott Dale Hatfield, 38, an officer with U.S. Customs and Border Protection, pleaded no contest to charges of simple battery and disorderly conduct, according to his attorney, Daniel Lewin. He was originally charged with battery and stalking.
Jury selection in the case was scheduled to begin Monday, according to court records.
Lewin released a statement Thursday following the plea, noting Hatfield was “released from custody after a difficult ordeal” and stating in part:
"Mr. Hatfield entered a no contest plea to ‘simple battery’ and disorderly conduct because it was in his best interests to get out of the jail at which he likely placed some of its current residents. It was a safety issue for him as a law enforcement officer. The resolution serves as proof Mr. Hatfield is not some stalker who violates court ordered injunctions, and therefore should not have been in jail in the first place. The stalking charge was dismissed and the second case where he was arrested for violating an injunction was dismissed. Discussions with CBP regarding his employment are ongoing. No further comments on his current status.”Daniel Lewin, Hatfield's attorney
Hatfield was arrested by Key West officers on May 31 after his ex told officers that he followed her into a gym near the Winn-Dixie at 2778 N. Roosevelt Blvd. and later held the door open to her car and shoved her in twice as she tried to get out, according to a police report.
Hatfield only stopped, police said, after a nearby construction crew started yelling at Hatfield and he walked away.
Police said the woman walked towards Winn-Dixie and called 911. The woman’s shoulders were “reddish,” the investigating officer wrote, “indicative of being pushed forcefully.”
Police said Hatfield admitted to following his ex to her car and said he placed his hand in the car door to prevent the woman from shutting it. He told officers that he put his arms out preventatively after the woman said she would “kick him in the nuts,” the report states.
“Hatfield stated that he did commit a battery on (the woman),” the investigating officer wrote.
The report stated Hatfield’s ex-girlfriend later showed officers screenshots showing that he had called her 11 times on Monday and showed officers a string of text messages sent after the woman told him to stop texting her or she would call the police.
The woman said she “feared Hatfield because he showed up to her house unannounced in his CBP uniform trying to get her to speak with him,” police wrote in the report, saying the woman had to “repeatedly” ask him to leave.
Hatfield was later arrested two more times, once on June 6 after authorities accused him of violating a protective order and again on June 8 on a charge of failure to appear, after which a Monroe County judge revoked his bond.
CBP officials said Hatfield had been placed on “administrative duties” following his first arrest. A spokesperson said the agency did not have an update on his current status.