NEW: Trial date set for former Ocean Ridge vice mayor accused of battery on officer


Another trial date was set Wednesday morning for former Ocean Ridge Vice Mayor Richard Lucibella in his 2016 arrest for allegedly using a firearm while intoxicated and battery on a law-enforcement officer.

The 65-year-old Lucibella appeared before Palm Beach County Circuit Judge Daliah Weiss, where his new trial date was set for Jan. 28. Since his arrest in October 2016, Lucibella’s trial has been reset several times, including just last month. During that Aug. 20 hearing, Lucibella’s attorney, Marc Shiner, waived his client’s right to speedy trial.

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Lucibella also is charged with resisting an officer with violence. He originally was arrested on an additional charge of discharging a weapon in public, but prosecutors never filed formal charges, according to court records. 

On Oct. 22, 2016, Ocean Ridge police officers responded to a call of shots fired on the 5700 block of Old Ocean Boulevard, north of Woolbright Road. Police said they found Lucibella sitting with town police Lt. Steven Wohlfiel on the patio at his residence near the area of the reported gunshots.

Police said both men appeared to be intoxicated. When asked if either man had a gun on them, Lucibella produced a semi-automatic pistol from his back pocket. An officer wrote in his report that when police kept Lucibella from going inside his home, he "began to poke me several times in the chest," then became violent with the officers.

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Shiner previously said the officers used excessive force when they arrested Lucibella. The former vice mayor ended up with a black eye and three broken ribs after his arrest, Shiner said. 

Ocean Ridge Police Chief Hal Hutchins said Wednesday that Wohlfiel was fired from the department in January 2017 by the town manager but has an open appeal to get his job back.  

Before the trial begins, there will be another hearing Oct. 12, according to court records.



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