Tourism director of Florida county’s chamber of commerce accused of punching police officer

The director of tourism for a South Florida county is accused of punching a police officer and causing a disturbance at a Vero Beach restaurant, authorities said.

Allison McNeal, 40, of Vero Beach, who is listed as director for tourism in Indian River County, was charged with battery on a law enforcement officer, resisting arrest with violence and trespassing according to a Vero Beach Police Department arrest affidavit.

An employee at an IHOP in Vero Beach told police McNeal walked into the restaurant around 3 a.m. and began yelling at customers, TCPalm reported.

McNeal left after police arrived and issued a trespass warning, telling her she would be arrested if she reentered the restaurant, the arrest affidavit said. McNeal attempted to enter a vehicle in the restaurant's parking lot, but the passengers told her she was not allowed in the car, TCPalm reported.

McNeal then walked back into the IHOP and was arrested, according to the affidavit. According to police, McNeal “became irate” and punched the officer on his arm, the website reported.

According to the affidavit, McNeal shoved an officer when police tried to handcuff her. Police took McNeal to the ground and held her face to the floor, causing a cut under her chin, according to the affidavit.

After rejecting medical attention, McNeal was taken to the Indian River County Jail, where she was booked and later released on $4,500 bail, according to jail records.

McNeal is listed as a staff member on the chamber's official website, and a March chamber Tourist Development Council agenda also lists McNeal as "tourism director." Social media profiles under McNeal's name on Twitter and LinkedIn also list her official title with the chamber, TCPalm reported.

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