FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA. (WSVN) - The father of a murdered Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School student faced a judge after being accused of confronting a...
The father of a slain Stoneman Douglas High School student will be allowed in the courtroom when his lawyers question the former school watchman who saw the shooter, but failed to stop him from entering the campus last year, a judge ruled Tuesday.
Former security monitor Andrew Medina wanted Broward Circuit Judge Patti Englander Henning to block Andrew Pollack from a deposition scheduled for next week. Medina is one of the defendants in a lawsuit Pollack filed over the wrongful death of his daughter, Meadow Pollack, one of 17 people murdered by Nikolas Cruz at the Parkland high school.
Pollack admits he confronted Medina at a youth baseball game in Parkland on Feb. 6, frustrated that Medina was serving as a coach and role model to youths in the same community where he failed to protect students from a homicidal gunman.
While Pollack painted the encounter as a moment of restrained anger, Medina’s lawyers told the judge he felt intimidated and threatened when Pollack warned, “I’m not through with you yet.”
Medina told police Pollack had been harassing him online and defaming him in the media, allegations Pollack does not dispute.
Medina was coach of a baseball team that played in Parkland, but the city determined after the confrontation that his team did not have enough players from the city limits to continue playing in its park. Medina remains the team’s coach, but the team is now playing in Coral Springs.
Outside the courtroom Tuesday, Pollack said he never intended to threaten Medina with anything other than “holding him accountable” for his alleged inaction on Feb. 14.
In and out of the courtroom, he called Medina a “piece of garbage.” On Twitter, he called Medina an “incompetent sexual predator” and said “what Medina needs to be afraid of is my lawsuit.”
Medina was never charged with a crime and no sexual contact was alleged, but he was suspended for three days in 2017 for inappropriate conduct for comments he made toward two female students, one of whom was Meadow Pollack.
Attorneys will not be allowed to question Medina about those allegations, Englander Henning ruled, because they are not relevant to what happened Feb. 14, 2018.
Medina is the second defendant in Pollack’s civil case to ask a judge to keep Pollack at arm’s length during questioning by lawyers. Late last year, former Broward Deputy Scot Peterson, who served as school resource officer at Stoneman Douglas, asked the judge to block Pollack from attending his deposition following online comments perceived as threats. The judge declined.
But both defendants will be questioned next week in the courthouse to ensure their safety, Englander Henning said.
Medina was not at Tuesday’s hearing.
Pollack said he intends to invite other Stoneman Douglas parents to the deposition.
“This has always been about accountability for the families, not about me,” he said.
Cruz, 20, is also a named defendant in the lawsuit, though his status as a criminal defendant makes it unlikely he will answer any questions in the civil case. He faces the death penalty.