By Skip Munger | AuxBeacon News Contributor
[Editor’s Note: The Pineda Chronicles has been a long time coming. That’s in part because the Broward County, Florida, Clerk of the Circuit Court took over a year-and-a-half to send us the court file on the Dustin Fealy case. We’ve got it now, and they apologized for the delay, saying they are “understaffed.’]
IN FEBRUARY 1998, a then-15 year old female Civil Air Patrol cadet named Taylor Kristine Fealy was apparently having some problems at home, not unlike a lot of teenaged girls. But possibly because she was a cadet in the Civil Air Patrol, a solution to her problems was close at hand.
In her south Florida CAP squadron, which met for meetings in Pembroke Pines, Taylor began an affair with an adult senior member of that squadron, who was then a CAP first lieutenant named Robert Sims. Taylor, who is now 23, was interviewed recently by News of the Force.
At the time of our exclusive interview in which she gave us permission to use her name, Taylor told us that Sims, his friend William Lynch (another CAP Officer), and then-CAP Col Tony Pineda, assisted her in gathering up her belongings from her parent’s house when they were not at home. They helped her leave her home, she said, and moved her into Sims’ place.
At the time, of course, Sims was an adult senior member officer of the CAP, who was conducting an affair with an under-age teenager. Not only that, but this affair directly violated both state law and the CAP’s cadet protection policy. And Taylor confirmed that she was having sexual relations with Sims.
When we spoke to Taylor last year, she told us that she was no longer living with Sims, and she admitted to us that she was pregnant (confirming what her brother had already told us), but she refused to reveal the name of the child’s father.
On or about the 17th of February, 1998, Taylor’s brother, Dustin, who took great exception to the situation involving his sister, appeared at a CAP meeting where both Sims and his sister were, and confronted Sims. According to Dustin, words were exchanged, but no threats were made. There were no weapons involved, he said, and there was no physical contact. And the court file confirms that. “No physical injury, no property damage or loss,” it says.
“When everybody left,” Dustin said, “so did I. My sister got into Sims’ car with him, and they left the meeting. They went one way, and I went the other,” he said.
“Later,” Dustin said, “Pineda came down to Miami, where I was working, and he arrested me. He works in Ft. Lauderdale but he came all the way down to Miami to arrest me himself. He practically begged me to resist arrest, saying he’d ‘love to beat the crap out of me.’ He took me to the Dade County Jail.” And, the court file shows that Dustin was booked in to the Dade County Jail by Pineda on a charge, according to the paperwork, of aggravated assault.
Taylor told us that Pineda had Taylor and a couple of other witnesses” write statements for him about what had happened at the CAP meeting in February. “All of the witness statements are the same,” she said.”Pineda told all three of us exactly what to write. Pineda said he was just going to use the statements to keep my brother away from us. I had no idea he was going to send my brother to prison.”
And, as you’ll see later, her brother, Dustin, did go to the Florida State Prison — for two years.
According to the court file, the following is from FDLE Special Agent Tony Pineda’s complaint affidavit against Dustin Fealy, filed in Broward County, FL, as FDLE offense report number BR-04-0004:
Name of victim: Robert Sims, Taylor Kristine Fealy.
Offenses charged: Two counts aggravated assault (784-021, F.S.)
Two counts aggravated stalking (784-048(3), F.S.)
Arresting officer(s): A. Pineda, FDLE
PROBABLE CAUSE AFFIDAVIT
Before me personally appeared SA A. Pineda, FDLE Brow, who, being first duly sworn, deposes and says that on 24 Feb 1998, at 7499 Pembroke Rd., Pembroke Pines, the above named defendant committed the above offenses charged and the facts showing probable cause to believe same are as follows:
See attached — in Pineda’s handwriting): Suspect on probation. Mr. Anthony Hurts – Miami.
On February 17, 1998 subject Fealy made threatening remarks to his sister in front of the Civil Air Patrol building at the address listed above ssaating (sic) he was going to kill her.
On February 24, 1998 at approximately 9:30 PM subject Fealy came again to the Civil Air Patrol building and made threats against victim Sims. At one point when Sictim (sic) Sims was inside the building subject Fealy told a witness to go inside and tell victim Sims that he (Fealy) was going to break his legs.
Shortly thereafter Fealy was seen by witnesses to drive his car near by and wait and surveil (sic) the CAP building watching for Sims and victim #1 Taylor to leave. When victims drove away from the CAP building Subject Fealy was seen to leave his surveillance spot and race after victims.
Victims #1 and #2 both state that subject Fealy repeatedly drope (sic) up on their rear bumper, then in front of them slamming on his brakes in an effort to either haved (sic) and (sic) accident or run off the road. This occurred along Pembroke Road and then North on University Drive from Pembroke road north to Johnson Street. Upon reaching Johnm (sic) st.subject (sic) Fealy swerved over three lanes of traffic and tried to ram into the vehicle driven by victim #2 Sims.
At this point both victims were in fear of their lives from subject Fealys (sic) assault with his vehicle. Taped statements from victims and witnesses attesting to the subjects (sic) actions listed above.
* Note — At the time Fealy tried to ram into vibtims (sic) from across three lanes of traffic victims were adjacent to a canal with a heavy guyardrail (sic) next to it, leaving little room for evasive manouvers (sic).
*Subject Fealy is under house arrest as part of his Probation* (sic).
What’s wrong with this report? Well, other than the typos and misspellings, both Taylor and her brother, Dustin, told NOTE that’s not what happened. Anybody who has ever watched an episode of Cops filmed in south Florida knows that there are local cops and Broward County deputies behind nearly every tree, so it’s unlikely that this happened — without a police officer taking notice. And, at no place in the report or even anywhere in the court’s file) is Pineda recorded as reporting that Sims was over the age of 21 and that Taylor was only 15 — or that they were actually living together. And, Pineda’s own police report, quoted here for the first time anywhere, clearly shows that Pineda knew that Sims and Fealy were together in Sims’ car. That, in itself, is a violation of the CAP’s cadet protection policy.
None of the trial witnesses listed by the state are ever mentioned in Pineda’s arrest affidavit as having actually seen any of what Pineda stated happened in his sworn affidavit.
Perhaps if this had ever gone to a jury trial, the child and sexual abuse of Taylor Fealy would have come out. But the Broward County State Attorney dropped the two charges of “aggravated stalking,” and Dustin Fealy finally agreed to “cop a plea” to the charges of aggravated assault. Dustin says he was either take the deal, or risk five years in prison on each of the two counts if he was convicted at trial — that would have meant ten years. The plea violated his probation, and the Broward County judge in his case sent him into the custody of the Florida Department of Corrections for the next two years. Therefore, there was no trial.
So the witnesses the state had never had to testify. They are listed in the court documents as: Taylor Fealy, Robert Sims, Michael Gomez, Phil Belnavis, Andy Kissoon, Eileen Parker, and William Lynch (whose addresses are all listed as 7499 Pembroke Rd., Pembroke Pines, FL. — the address of the Civil Air Patrol); Laughlin Fealy. 18081 NW 9th Court, North Miami, FL; and Gary Venema and Tony Pineda, whose addresses are listed as 1475 NW 62nd Street, Suite 203, c/o FDLE, Ft. Lauderdale, FL.
And, Dustin told us, he sought help from his probation officer in Miami, who Dustin quotes as saying, “There’s nothing I can do. I think this is all B.S., but Pineda is FDLE. There’s nothing I can do.”
The Florida Department of Children and Families — which at the time of the incident was known as the Florida Department of Health and Rehabilitative Services (HRS), would neither confirm or deny that there was ever any child abuse report filed with them about Taylor Fealy. As a law enforcement officer, Pineda should have filed such a report. But, according to Dustin, “There must not have ever been one, because HRS never talked to any of us, including our parents.”
And Taylor told us that she was never contacted by any agents from HRS.
When we asked Taylor if she and Pineda were friends, she said, “No. We never have been.” And when we asked her what she knew of Pineda, she said, “Not much, but I know he’s a ‘dirty’ cop!”
At the time all this was happening, I was employed as the full-time administrator of the Civil Air Patrol’s Florida Wing. On a day late in July that year, a woman who identified herself as Taylor Fealy’s mother called Wing headquarters at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, FL, and began to tell me about this story. I told Ms. Fealy that I had heard nothing about this, and I gave her the telephone number of the CAP national inspector general’s office at Maxwell AFB, AL.
I then called the Florida Wing commander, CAP Col Andy Skiba, and told him of Ms. Fealy’s telephone call. Col Skiba said, “Yeah, I know about it. That woman is nuts, don’t even talk to her. And don’t worry about it, Pineda is handling it.” Because it was normal procedure for paperwork on complaints like that to come into Wing headquarters, I asked Col Skiba why there was no paperwork on this. Col Skiba told me, “There is no paperwork. Just don’t worry about it. Pineda is handling it.”
Skiba was later reported to have said that he took no action because Pineda — a law enforcement officer — had told Skiba that under Florida law, it’s perfectly legal for a 15-year-old girl to leave her parents’ home. That, of course, is not correct. In Florida, children are under the care and control of their parents until the reach the age of 18. But, reportedly. Skiba believed what Pineda had told him because Pineda was a state police officer.
So, you can imagine my surprise when, at the CAP National Board meeting in Atlanta that year, Pineda actually tried to get me to sign a “counseling statement,” stating that I had “lost all of the paperwork” on the Fealy case. “What paperwork?” I said, “Col Skiba said there was no paperwork.” For two days, Pineda was after me to sign this counseling statement. And Pineda’s faithful co-hort, CAP Lt. Col Richard Valone, told me, “You have to sign it!” Finally, I told him — and Pineda — that I didn’t have to sign s***, I wasn’t going to sign it, and they couldn’t make me sign it.
Sims is still in the CAP, and at last check he was a major. At the time of our interview with Taylor last year, Sims was serving as the Florida Wing’s director of cadet programs.
Another of Pineda’s clique, and a listed witness in this case, Eileen Parker, who was a first lieutenant when I knew her, having proved her loyalty to Pineda, is now a fill-bird colonel.
As a result, FDLE Special Agent Antonio Jesus Pineda, Jr., became a two-star General, and the National Commander of the Civil Air Patrol.
As for Taylor and her brother, Dustin, many years have gone by, and they’re still not speaking to each other.