‘I tried to bully her’: Florida political candidate apologizes for behavior during traffic stop

SARASOTA, Fla. — A man running for Congress in Florida is apologizing for behavior caught on an officer’s body camera during a traffic stop in Sarasota.

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Martin Hyde is currently running in Florida’s 16th congressional district on a platform of protecting the 2nd amendment and term limits, according to his campaign website. He describes himself as “A former professional soccer player, a driven local business owner, and father of four boys.”

On Feb. 14, a Sarasota police officer pulled Hyde over, and the traffic stop was recorded by the officer’s body camera, WFLA reported. In the video, the female officer tells Hyde that he was pulled over for speeding and texting while driving.

In the video, Hyde asks the officer, “You know who I am, right?” As the officer requests his registration, Hyde initially refuses and asks the officer, “Is it your Russian immigrant status that makes you talk to people like this?” In the video, Hyde can also be heard threatening to end the officer’s career with the police department, WTVT reported.

Hyde is now apologizing for his actions, telling WTSP “I was completely bang out of order. I have no right to talk to anybody like that; and I not only called the officer afterwards to apologize, I apologized to everybody that’s come into contact with it.”

Hyde told WFLA he “happened to be in a grumpy mood that day” but says he respects law enforcement. “I tried to bully her,” Hyde told WFLA. “I am not proud of it.”

In a statement to WTVT, Hyde said, in part, “I’m not going to justify my poor temper on that day or attempted to mitigate it in any way. There will be some who will say it’s not the first time I’ve acted out and they’d be right. I have faults and one of them is to be overly aggressive on occasion when I’m challenged. In the political arena that is possibly a good thing but on a personal level it’s not.”