KEY WEST, Fla. – Key West police arrested an officer with the U.S. Marine Corps Sunday on a charge of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon after they accused him of threatening a vacationing family in an apparent road rage incident on the island’s famed Duval Street.
Kevin Robert Harris, 40, who lives in Doral and was listed in Monroe County Jail records as a major within the USMC, was also arrested on a disorderly conduct charge.
According to an arrest report, police were dispatched to Duval and Front streets just after 5:45 p.m. after receiving a report that a man had threatened another with a gun.
The group of family members told police that they had been riding their bicycles in the 100 block of Duval Street when the man, later identified as Harris, tried to pass them but couldn’t because of opposing traffic, the report states.
They said Harris pulled up beside them and began yelling at one of the male family members about riding in the roadway.
That family member reportedly told Harris to “mind his business and that bicycles were allowed to travel in the roadway in Key West.”
After a brief exchange of words, police said Harris drove off, but that would not be the last the family would see of him.
The arrest report states that Harris again confronted them at Duval and Front streets, yelling at the man and “telling him to fight” in a parking lot.
The witness said that as he was trying to instigate the fight, Harris reached with his right hand and then raised a “dark-colored object,” which she believed to be a gun.
Police said the victim and other witnesses also reported seeing Harris pull out the object. They said the victim told police that he believed the “extremely aggressive and agitated” Harris was intentionally targeting him and that he left the area alone in order to protect his family.
Another witness among the group told police that Harris had commented “Oh, there’s two of you” during the initial confrontation, referring to the victim and himself, a comment that “shocked” him because “Harris appeared to be excited (at) the fact that there was two men that would fight him,” the report states.
Police said the victim told them he wished to pursue charges against Harris. Officer Joshua Hesse wrote: “I was told the entire family was still shaken by the event and he felt strongly that he believed his whole family’s safety was placed in imminent danger by Harris, especially his daughters.”
Police said he had provided them with a description of the man and his white Ford Expedition, along with a photograph of its license plate.
They said they later tracked down the SUV on Truman Avenue and as officers pulled behind him and turned on their lights, he made what they believed to be an evasive right-turn to avoid officers.
Eventually, police said they caught up to Harris at the Chevron gas station at 1126 Truman Ave. They said they found a gun and knife in Harris’ SUV.
Police said Harris denied pulling a gun on the family and provided a “very mild account” of the incident with few details but did “agree to multiple details of the incident when specifically questioned.”
They said Harris claimed, falsely, that the gun was secured and “buried” inside of a bag in the vehicle and said he initially denied trying to evade police, claiming he was using the GPS in his new vehicle.
According to the report, Harris would soon admit that police were “obviously” looking for him.
He remained held in the Monroe County Jail as of Monday morning, where he had not been assigned bond, but was given an arraignment date of Aug. 3.
Local 10 News contacted the U.S. Marine Corps seeking comment on Harris’ arrest and status within the service.