The investigation following the arrest of a prominent local Santa Rosa County building official continues to lag while Escambia County police officers search for clues into what really happened.
Tim Tolbert, who was a football coach for the Navarre Youth Sports Association Junior football team, was accused of hitting a football player in the head following a post-game brawl at Magee Football Field in Pensacola on Oct. 24.
Video footage of the incident shows Tolbert on the field at the time of the alleged incident but it does not appear he has anything in his hands.
Tolbert, 47, was charged with aggravated battery, a second degree felony, after a witness stated she saw him hit one of the players from the opposing team.
According to Tolbert’s attorney, James Barnes, that statement has yet to be corroborated.
“It’s my understanding that the State Attorney’s office is looking for people to confirm (her story),” he said.
The report issued by the Pensacola Police department named Angela Ranae Cunningham, 37, as the witness who identified Tolbert as the offender in the incident.
Tolbert was originally schedule to be arraigned on Nov. 12. That date was held over to Nov. 25, pending further investigation into the incident. On Nov. 25, the State Attorney’s office asked for another stay.
Barnes, who is an attorney with the Pensacola firm Michles & Booth, said the delay is not necessarily uncommon and he is confident the State Attorney’s office will “do the right thing.”
“The State Attorney’s office doesn’t file charges that are unfounded,” he said. “And right now, the arraignment is being held over while they investigate what happened. It’s just a matter of being patient.”
For now, Tolbert is facing one of three outcomes: the second-degree felony battery charge, a misdemeanor battery charge, or the possibility that charges could be dropped altogether.
“We have provided (the State Attorney’s office) with a list of witnesses who stated that they didn’t Tim Tolbert strike anyone,” Barnes said. “For now, the State Attorney’s office has to find their own conclusion. I am hopeful for a positive outcome.”