DISCLAIMER: All persons are presumed innocent until proven guilty
NEW ORLEANS (WGNO)— Reginald Hamilton, an 18-year-old who was involved in a serious ATV crash with Plaquemines Parish Sheriff’s Deputies back in May, was released on bond Thursday night, a family spokesperson confirmed.
This comes after Hamilton’s family made headlines earlier this week with their announcement of plans to file a federal lawsuit against the sheriff’s office, claiming race played a factor in Hamilton’s arrest.
On Monday, Hamilton’s loved ones gathered near the Woodland Bridge, the site of the crash, demanding answers from the PPSO and a lower bond for Hamilton, who remained in police custody bond more than two months later.
In the early morning hours of May 31, Hamilton and his friend Kody Blanchard, also 18, were riding ATVs in Plaquemines Parish when the deputies tried to stop him. Dashcam footage shows another deputy, Edmund Fisher, waiting to grab one of the suspects when Hamilton’s ATV crashed into the deputy. Both Hamilton and Fisher were severely injured.
Those representing Hamilton say the officer put himself in the path of the oncoming ATV and in harm’s way. See the footage below.
After being discharged from the hospital, Hamilton was booked into the Plaquemines Parish Jail where he was charged with Attempted First-Degree Murder of a Police Officer, Aggravated Flight from an Officer, and Reckless Operation of an Off-Road Vehicle.
However, a grand jury decided last week that the attempted murder charge would be reduced to Second-Degree Battery. The Plaquemines Parish District Attorney’s Office told WGNO that dash cam video of the incident did not support the attempted murder charge.
As a result, the judge handling the case lowered Hamilton’s bond from $500,000 to $152,000. If convicted of battery, Hamilton could face up to eight years in prison.
WGNO reached out to the PPSO for comment on Hamilton’s arrest and the potential lawsuit being filed. We were issued a statement, saying in part:
“PPSO will not be making any additional comments. As previously directed, please contact the Plaquemines Parish District Attorney’s Office for any additional inquiries regarding this case.“