SLED asked to investigate fight between off-duty Charleston officer, bicyclist after crash

The Charleston Police Department has asked the State Law Enforcement Division to investigate a fight between an off-duty officer and a bicyclist after a crash downtown.

Officer Kevin Medert, 30, has been placed on administrative leave without pay and the department’s Professional Standards Office is conducting a parallel investigation to SLED’s, according to a Monday news release.

The bicyclist, Brandon Freeman told police that around 12:30 p.m. April 18 he was riding the wrong way on St. Philip Street at George Street when he collided with a red Infinity G35, driven by Medert, according to an incident report. He said he believed the vehicle had intentionally driven toward him and left very little room along the curb.

The report states that Freeman, 32, was uninjured and wanted to leave after the collision, but Medert, who was not in uniform, grabbed his backpack and would not let him leave. Freeman told him not to touch him and pushed him away, but the off-duty officer allegedly grabbed his backpack again and forced him to the ground.

Freeman pushed himself off the ground and then threw a punch at Medert, according to the report. The fight ended when College of Charleston public safety officers arrived. An officer noted in the report that there were two scuff marks on Medert’s personal vehicle.

The request for SLED to investigate the incident resulted from an internal review by the police department, according to the release. Medert has been with the department since April 1, 2013.

Reach Melissa Boughton at 843-937-5594 or at Twitter.com/mboughtonPC.