An out gay Miami police sergeant was suspended in February after a Grindr “date” went bad leading to an even worse series of events.
Miami Police Department Sgt. Tommy Reyes, who has also served as the president of Miami’s Fraternal Order of Police for four years, was visiting Tallahassee in January. During his time there, the 36-year-old met up with a “young Hispanic male” at a Hampton Inn & Suites hotel after connecting on Grindr.
According to a Tallahassee Police Department (TPD) report obtained by Miami New Times, the encounter didn’t go very well as the “date” told officers he pretended to ejaculate by spitting on Reyes’ back to bring the hookup to a close. On his way out the door, however, the “date” grabbed Reyes’ wallet because he was afraid Reyes would “mess with him.”
Tommy Reyes told Tallahassee PD officers that when the date saw his police badge and law enforcement credentials inside his wallet, the date began to send him messages on Grindr in an attempt to "blackmail" him. https://t.co/z1fidmL3Rt
— Miami New Times (@MiamiNewTimes) March 15, 2022
Reyes told TPD that soon after the date left, he began receiving messages on Grindr from the young man who’d seen his badge and police credentials in the wallet. According to Reyes, the date threatened to blackmail him unless he was allowed to go on a “shopping spree” using Reyes’ credit card. The date told police Reyes agreed to let him use his credit cards, but Reyes disputes that.
Reyes’ American Express card was charged with purchases from a Best Buy electronics store as well as a $10 donation to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. The total spending by the young man totaled $1,310.71.
The two men agreed to meet at the Hampton Inn parking lot to facilitate the return of the wallet.
According to the police report, when the men met up again, Reyes reached over and allegedly grabbed the young man’s keys from his car’s ignition. The date reminded Reyes he still had the wallet to which Reyes reportedly answered, “And I’ve got a gun.”
Reyes then pulled his concealed gun and pointed it at the date ordering him to lay on the ground. Reyes later told police his intention was to detain the young man until TPD officers could arrive. However, the date told TPD officers Reyes had put his knee on his back and yelled, “I should f**king kill you,” before the young man managed to escape.
TPD officers showed up at the parking lot after the date had fled, but they were able to track him down via the license plate of the man’s car. After finding the car belonged to the man’s mother, TPD contacted the woman who convinced her son to meet with Florida A&M University police where he gave his sworn statement.
Reyes showed the Grindr messages to TPD investigators who determined that the date had attempted to “extort/blackmail” Reyes unless he agreed to the ‘shopping spree.’
However, although TPD noted that Reyes was initially the victim of petty theft, by drawing his weapon and pinning the date to the ground, Reyes had opened himself up to a possible third-degree felony charge of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon without intent to kill.
The case was sent to the Tallahassee-Leon County State Attorney’s Office, which declined to pursue the case after determining there was “no reasonable likelihood of prosecution.” The case was officially closed and Reyes was deemed “exceptionally cleared.”
However, Miami New Times reports Reyes was relieved of duty with pay on February 17 pending Miami Police Department’s internal affairs investigation.
In an email to members of the Miami Fraternal Order of Police, Reyes informed his colleagues the investigation was launched due to a complaint from an “anonymous” party.
“I was [relieved of duty] based on an anonymous complaint,” Reyes wrote in his email. “I cannot go into details as it is an open investigation, I will stand strong and tell you my brothers and sisters that I was the victim of a crime, and I am once again being victimized by some of our own people.”
Speaking to Miami New Times, Reyes said, “I was a victim of a crime, and Tallahassee Police Department victimized me again.”