Fairfax County police have apologized to the Reston man who was wrongly arrested and charged with indecent exposure in October, but the man's lawyers said settlement talks with the county have collapsed and a lawsuit is forthcoming.
Fairfax police searched the home of Jay Brocco on Oct. 4, and Brocco surrendered the next day to Detective Ricky Savage of the sex crimes unit. Brocco was charged with indecent exposure for allegedly showing a photo of himself naked to a teenage lifeguard at his Reston health club.
Brocco was a member of the health club but wasn't there the day of the incident and did not resemble the description given by the lifeguard. Brocco's attorneys investigated and persuaded Fairfax prosecutors to dismiss the charge and expunge the case from county records. Police later arrested James Brokke on the same charge, and his case is pending.
In a letter to Brocco dated Dec. 2, Fairfax Police Chief J. Thomas Manger wrote that "it is clear that you were accused of a crime that you did not commit and for that I apologize for the embarrassment and disruption to your life which has resulted."
Brocco could not be reached for comment. Henry W. Asbill, his attorney, said that Brocco viewed the letter as "half an apology at best" and that Brocco "is extremely disappointed that there has been no recognition that they [police] were in any way at fault."
Manger's letter said that the arrest was "based upon information received from apparently credible and well-intentioned individuals."
Manger also wrote that "the Police Department is currently investigating the reasons for this unfortunate intrusion into your life and the lives of your family members."
Warren Carmichael, the Fairfax police spokesman, wouldn't discuss the status of that investigation and said police officials would not answer any other questions about Brocco or the apology letter. "We are not able to discuss any aspect of the issue," he said. Fairfax County attorneys could not be reached for comment.
Asbill said Brocco's attorneys had discussed a settlement payment for Brocco with Fairfax lawyers, but "that's not going anywhere. We're going to prepare a complaint."
Brocco could not be reached for comment. But Brocco's attorney William B. Moffitt said that Brocco and his wife "would have preferred this matter be resolved quietly and confidentially. It does not appear that is going to happen, but this is not something they feel they can walk away from, and they want to take steps to ensure this never happens to someone else again."
CAPTION: Lawyers for Jay Brocco, shown with wife Olga, say settlement talks in the wrongful arrest have collapsed.