NEW PORT RICHEY — A local attorney is accused of fighting with two police officers who were trying to arrest him Tuesday evening.
Joshua J. Stewart, 32, of 5850 Montana Ave. in New Port Richey was charged with resisting an officer with violence, battery on a law enforcement officer and three counts of violating probation.
Stewart had previously been charged with habitually driving with a revoked or suspended license — and his probation officer caught him driving a car, according to court documents. New Port Richey police officers showed up at Stewart's house at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday to arrest him on a charge of violating his probation when he struggled with them on his front lawn, according to a report. He elbowed one officer in the ear, the report said.
Stewart was released from the Pasco County jail Thursday on $2,500 bail.
In a phone interview Thursday evening, Stewart denied the charges. He said the officers handcuffed him without telling him why and then punched him several times in the face. He said he saw a doctor Thursday who said he has a torn retina and might have to have eye surgery.
This was "the most despicable, dishonorable police work I have ever witnessed," Stewart said.
Stewart is a partner with his father at a private law firm on Main Street in New Port Richey. According to the Florida Bar, Stewart is a member in good standing.