By Mike Lednovich
Editor’s note: This is a running summary of the police bodycam footage of the Oct. 29 bicycle accident involving City Manager Ty Ross. We hope it helps citizens debating this incident to form opinions based on the known facts.
New Fernandina Beach City Manager Ty Ross is seen sitting cross-legged on the grass in the dark confused and unable to provide coherent answers to police questions on video recorded by a Fernandina officer the night of Oct. 29.
Ross, who has admitted to having too much to drink downtown, crashed his bicycle near the intersection of Atlantic Avenue and 14th Street. Two motor scooter riders saw Ross sprawled on the lawn of a house and summoned police at about 7:30 p.m.
Ross was in his second week on the job as Fernandina City Manager.
As the officer approaches, he asks “How are you doing sir?”
Ross responds “What’s up boss?” and extends his right arm to give the officer a fist bump.
The officer asks Ross “What’s going on tonight?”
Ross said “I am. Just taking in the sounds.”
He is asked whether he lives in Fernandina.
Ross responds “Unfortunately I live here. I’m the…”
The rest of his reply was redacted by the city.
The officer asks “Were you out drinking tonight?”
Ross did not answer.
The officer states “It’s alright if you were, just trying to get you home.”
Ross then responds raising his hands “It’s the real deal.”
The officer then makes a radio call to his supervisor and says “You might want to be 51 on this. The code “10-51” means subject is drunk.
The officer then asks witnesses “What was he (Ross) doing?”
The witness reports “I thought he (Ross) got hit. He was laying in the grass.”
During the conversation, Ross lays back down on the lawn.
“He wasn’t moving much and I didn’t see any blood,” the witness said.
The officer goes back to Ross and asks “Do you need an ambulance?”
Ross answers “No.”
The officer then makes a cellphone call to his supervisor.
The first part of the call was redacted by the city.
“He was riding his bicycle down the road flailing around,” the officer said.
Another portion is redacted, then the officer said “No, I didn’t know if you wanted to know because of who he was.”
The call ends.
The officer then asks Ross if he wants a ride home.
Ross said “yes” and after giving the officer his home address, he stands and takes a slight stumble,
The officer helps Ross walk to his patrol vehicle and asks “You don’t have any weapons or knives or anything on you?”
Ross answers “hell no.”
The officer searches Ross and puts Ross in the back seat of his police vehicle.
He then loads Ross’ bicycle on the patrol car.
Ross remains silent for the five-minute drive to his house.
As the officer parks his vehicle, Ross asks about his bicycle.
“I’ve got your bike right here,” the officer tells him.
When the officer opens the passenger door, Ross raises his hands in surrender and remains seated until the officer tells him “You’re good, you can relax, I’m going to walk you to your front door.”
After giving Ross his bicycle, the officer tells him “Just a heads up, if you ever need a ride or whatever, just give us a call and we’ll try to get you home. So that way you don’t fall off your bike and get hit by a car because that wouldn’t be good.”
Ross said, “That wouldn’t be good.”
As the video ends, another officer says “that’s not good” about the incident.