Reid could tes­tify for son

Coach’s son faces civil suit in al­leged road-rage in­ci­dent

The Times Herald (Norristown, PA) - - FRONT PAGE - By CARL HESSLER Jr.

COURT­HOUSE — For­mer Ea­gles head coach Andy Reid could be called to tes­tify when his son’s civil trial in con­nec­tion with an al­leged road-rage in­ci­dent gets un­der­way, lawyers have hinted in Mont­gomery County court.

“Are you call­ing Andy Reid?” county Judge Thomas M. DelRicci asked a lawyer rep­re­sent­ing a Spring­field, Delaware County, man who is su­ing Reid’s 29-year-old son, Britt, in con­nec­tion with an al­leged Jan­uary 2007 heated en­counter along a West Con­shohocken road­way.

“We may your honor. We re­serve the right to call him,” lawyer Steven M. Mezrow re­sponded dur­ing a pre­trial hear­ing, in­di­cat­ing at one point that he be­lieved Andy Reid and his wife, Tammy, had been sub­poe­naed by his law of­fice as po­ten­tial wit­nesses at their son’s civil trial.

How­ever, a lawyer rep­re­sent­ing the in­ter­ests of the coach and his wife told the judge to his knowl­edge no sub-

poe­nas had been is­sued to the Reids. He added that with the foot­ball sea­son be­gin­ning Sun­day, Andy Reid, who served as Ea­gles coach from 1999 to 2012 be­fore be­com­ing head coach of the Kansas City Chiefs, won’t have much time avail­able for any de­po­si­tions.

“There’s been no dis­cus­sion of fly­ing to Kansas City for a de­po­si­tion,” DelRicci ad­dressed Mezrow. If Andy Reid is sub­poe­naed at this late date, it would likely post­pone the start of Britt Reid’s trial, which is cur­rently set to be­gin with jury se­lec­tion on Sept. 19.

In the suit filed against Britt Reid, Larry John­son, of Holt Lane, Spring­field, Delaware County, is seek­ing da­m­ages in ex­cess of $50,000, claim­ing he suf­fered phys­i­cal and emo­tional pain, men­tal an­guish, in­clud­ing post­trau­matic stress disorder, and hu­mil­i­a­tion as a re­sult of Britt Reid’s con­duct, which the suit al­leges in­cluded bran­dish­ing and point­ing a hand­gun at John­son. Andy and Tammy Reid are not par­ties to the suit.

In pre­trial court doc­u­ments, Mezrow and fel­low lawyer Michael O. Pansini, who rep­re­sent John­son, listed “news ar­ti­cles” and a “VHS tape of Andy Reid press con­fer­ence” as po­ten­tial trial ex­hibits. The doc­u­ments do not in­di­cate the date of the press con­fer­ence.

That prompted lawyers Ed­ward J. McGinn and David S. Wolf, who rep­re­sent Britt Reid, to ask DelRicci to pre­vent Mezrow from pre­sent­ing news­pa­per ar­ti­cles, news videos and a video­tape of the press con­fer­ence as ev­i­dence at Britt Reid’s trial, ar­gu­ing such ex­hibits are inad­mis­si­ble hearsay ev­i­dence and that state­ments and as­ser­tions made in news ar­ti­cles and the press con­fer­ence are “ir­rel­e­vant and un­fairly prej­u­di­cial.”

“Here, the state­ments which will be of­fered are out-of-court state­ments and as­ser­tions by a news­caster, which are be­ing of­fered for the truth,” McGinn and Wolf wrote in court pa­pers. “Any com­ments and as­ser­tions made by the au­thors of the news ar­ti­cles are hearsay. Any com­ments and as­ser­tions made by Andy Reid dur­ing a press con­fer­ence are hearsay. Any com­ments and as­ser­tions made by the me­dia at the press con­fer­ence with Andy Reid are hearsay.”

When the judge sought an of­fer of proof about the rel­e­vance of the press con­fer­ence footage, Mezrow sug­gested he might need the video­tape to im­peach any tes­ti­mony Andy Reid might pro­vide if he’s called to tes­tify at his son’s civil trial.

DelRicci didn’t in­di­cate when he would rule on the mat­ter as well as other pre­trial is­sues.

Lawyers for Britt Reid, for­merly of Vil­lanova, also have asked the judge to pre­clude from trial any ev­i­dence that drugs were found in Britt Reid’s ve­hi­cle by the po­lice on the date of the in­ci­dent and any ev­i­dence about prior drug or al­co­hol use by Reid. The de­fense also wants to pre­clude from trial ev­i­dence re­gard­ing any weapons or am­mu­ni­tion pur­chased or pos­sessed by Britt Reid, “other than the hand­gun at is­sue,” ac­cord­ing to court pa­pers and tes­ti­mony.

The law­suit orig­i­nally was filed in Philadel­phia. How­ever, in 2009, a Philadel­phia judge moved the case to Mont­gomery County after Reid’s lawyers raised the is­sue of im­proper venue. Britt Reid did not at­tend the pre­trial hear­ing.

John­son, ac­cord­ing to his suit, was op­er­at­ing a Ford pickup truck along Route 23 in West Con­shohocken on Jan. 30, 2007, on his way to a Home De­pot to get sup­plies for work when he en­coun­tered Britt Reid, who al­legedly got out of a black GMC De­nali and “en­gaged in a ver­bal al­ter­ca­tion.” Reid, the suit al­leged, re­turned to his ve­hi­cle, reached inside and pulled out a sil­ver .45-cal­iber hand­gun and pointed it at John­son’s face and then smiled.

Reid’s con­duct placed John­son “in fear of im­me­di­ate se­ri­ous bod­ily in­jury and death” and John­son be­lieved “that he was about to die,” the suit al­leged.

Britt Reid, the suit al­leged, lied to in­ves­ti­ga­tors about the in­ci­dent, claim­ing he had pulled out a flash­light and not a hand­gun, and made “false, crude, de­grad­ing and defam­a­tory state­ments” about John­son that harmed John­son’s rep­u­ta­tion and character.

In July, Britt Reid’s lawyers filed a pre­trial state­ment in which they con­tended, “There was no phys­i­cal con­tact be­tween the par­ties or phys­i­cal in­jury sus­tained by the plain­tiff.” De­fense lawyers ar­gued Reid “de­nied point­ing the gun to­ward Mr. John­son,” re­fer­ring to pre­vi­ous tes­ti­mony dur­ing which Reid al­legedly stated, “The gun bar­rel was fac­ing to the left and up.” In court pa­pers, de­fense lawyers ar­gued the hand­gun dis­played by Reid was un­loaded.

The trial, once it be­gins, is ex­pected to last four to five days.

Britt Reid, ac­cord­ing to doc­u­ments filed in July by his lawyers, cur­rently re­sides and works in Kansas City.

“He works as an as­sis­tant coach for the Kansas City Chiefs foot­ball team,” McGinn and Wolf wrote in pa­pers in which they had re­quested a trial date dur­ing the “bye week” of Oct. 6.

Britt Reid also faced crim­i­nal charges in con­nec­tion with the West Con­shohocken in­ci­dent. In Novem­ber 2007, Reid, then 22, was sentenced to eight to 23 months in jail, to be fol­lowed by four years’ pro­ba­tion, after he pleaded guilty to charges of sim­ple as­sault, pos­sess­ing an in­stru­ment of crime, firearms not to be car­ried with­out a li­cense and drug pos­ses­sion. At that time, sen­tenc­ing Judge Steven T. O’Neill told Reid he could ap­ply for ac­cep­tance into the county’s drug treat­ment court pro­gram after serv­ing five months be­hind bars.

Britt Reid also pleaded guilty to DUI and dru­gre­lated charges stem­ming from an Aug. 23, 2007, in­ci­dent dur­ing which he crashed a ve­hi­cle into a shop­ping cart at the Metro­plex shop­ping cen- ter along Chem­i­cal Road in Ply­mouth Town­ship. Au­thor­i­ties al­leged they found pre­scrip­tion drugs in Reid’s sys­tem that im­paired his abil­ity to drive.

After serv­ing a stint in jail, Reid was ac­cepted into the Mont­gomery County Drug Treat­ment Court pro­gram in Fe­bru­ary 2008. In June 2009, Reid, then 24, grad­u­ated from the pro­gram, presided over by Judge O’Neill, after suc­cess­fully com­plet­ing a 15-month treat­ment plan that in­cluded ran­dom drug test­ing and group and in­di­vid­ual coun­sel­ing.

On the same day as Britt Reid’s al­leged road­rage in­ci­dent, his older brother, Gar­rett, was ar­rested in con­nec­tion with a drug-fu­eled, twove­hi­cle crash at Ger­man­town Pike and Arch Road in Ply­mouth. Gar­rett Reid pleaded guilty to driv­ing un­der the in­flu­ence of heroin in con­nec­tion with the crash. In Au­gust, 2012, Gar­rett Reid died from an ac­ci­den­tal heroin over­dose dur­ing Ea­gles train­ing camp at Le­high Univer­sity. He was 29.

Follow Carl Hessler Jr. on Twit­ter @ Mont­coCourtNews

As­so­ci­ated Press File Photo

Philadel­phia Ea­gles coach Andy Reid ad­dresses the me­dia dur­ing a news con­fer­ence at NFL foot­ball train­ing camp in 2012.

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