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Official's son sees case dismissed
By Colleen Jenkins Times Staff Writer
Published October 19, 2007
Marlon J. Scott's case was dismissed Wednesday after his attorney argued that Tampa police made an unlawful entry into his home.
TAMPA - The son of Tampa City Council member Tom Scott is off the hook for a charge of obstructing an officer.
Circuit Judge Manuel Lopez dismissed the case Wednesday after Scott's attorney argued that Tampa police made an unlawful entry into Marlon J. Scott's home to arrest him.
Police visited Scott, 26, on Nov. 29 after an Animal Control officer accused him of keeping two Rottweilers on too-short chains in direct sunlight. They said he refused to step out of his house after several requests by an officer, then retreated into the home and pushed the door "forcibly against" the officer, according to a police report.
But defense attorney Kevin Beck said Officer Terrence Covais awoke Scott at 11:30 p.m. and refused to tell him why he was being arrested. Covais struck Scott with a flashlight, entered his home without consent and arrested him, Beck's motion states.
The Fourth Amendment forbids police from making warrantless arrests without consent to enter a person's home unless they are in "hot pursuit."
Beck pointed out that Scott had no criminal arrest, had attempted three times to contact the Animal Control officer about her concerns and got his dogs returned to him within days after their removal because they were found to be well cared for and healthy.
Prosecutors previously decided against prosecuting Scott on charges of animal cruelty, confinement of animals without food and water and battery on a law enforcement officer.