Florida Keys News - Islamorada/KL Free Press
Wednesday, April 2, 2014
Incident sent Secret Service agents home

ISLAMORADA -- Two Secret Service agents in town ahead of President Obama's visit to the Ocean Reef Club last month were sent home following a traffic accident in Islamorada.

A Florida Highway Patrol officer noticed alcohol on the driver's breath, the March 7 crash report states, though the officer did not believe the driver, Secret Service agent Mathew Kyle Reyes, was impaired.

"Out of an abundance of caution, they were returned to their post of duty due to contact with police and pending police and traffic reports," Secret Service Spokesman Brian Leary said.

The crash occurred just before 1:30 a.m. March 7 outside the Trading Post market on Upper Matecumbe Key. Obama arrived at Ocean Reef late the following afternoon.

Reyes, 27, had fellow Secret Service agent Mark Kevin Sedlak, 51, as a passenger when he attempted to drive his rented Dodge Caravan from the Trading Post directly across the Overseas Highway to Cheeca Lodge. As he did so, he cut in front of the southbound Publix delivery truck that was driven by Nicolas Quintana Llerena, according to the report. Reyes did not have his headlights on.

Llerena hit the midsection of the Caravan, causing an estimated $10,000 in damage to the van and $1,000 to his truck. Nobody was hurt.

"A slight odor of alcohol was detected on [Reyes] and field sobriety tests were initiated," the report states. "No detection of impairment was observed."

The responding patrolman, Trooper G.B. Perlman, did not perform a Breathalyzer on Reyes, though he did issue a failure-to-yield citation. The report doesn't identify the two agents as being from the Secret Service.

The release of the Islamorada crash report comes as the Secret Service finds itself ensconced in its latest public relations fiasco related to reported misbehavior by agents. Last weekend, three agents were sent home from the Netherlands after one was discovered passed out in a hotel hallway, the Washington Post reported. The agents were in Amsterdam ahead of a visit by Obama to Europe and Saudi Arabia.

Public attention toward the misadventures of Secret Service personnel has risen since April 2012 when 10 agents left the agency in the wake of a scandal over the hiring of prostitutes in Colombia.

Obama arrived at Ocean Reef just after 4 p.m. March 7 and stayed for the weekend with his family. They departed for Washington early on the afternoon of March 9.

Trading Post owner Betsy Jacocks said Friday that she hadn't spoken directly with the employees who served the Secret Service agents, and had only heard second-hand reports.

"Supposedly, they were excited because they were going fishing," she said.

Leary said Reyes and Sedlak were off duty at the time of the crash. The Secret Service is investigating the incident but has not disciplined either of the agents at this point, he added.

rsilk@keysnews.com

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