Seven months after Below Deck star Kate Chastain was arrested and charged for domestic battery against girlfriend Rocco “Ro” Hernandez, Melbourne Beach Police body cam video footage of her actual arrest has surfaced online.
In the startling footage, originally obtained and shared by Florida Today, Kate seems completely shocked and confused by the officers’ presence as she and friend Will, who was staying with her at the time, answered questions. Kate explains that she was the victim, and that Ro essentially held her hostage in her home from Wednesday afternoon until Friday morning.
The police officer pointed out that if someone were being held hostage over a period of days, then they would probably attempt to contact law enforcement. “How come you didn’t call police?” he asks Kate at one point.
“Because I’m on television and I don’t really need a news report coming out that I have lesbian domestic violence,” Kate explains.
I’m guessing Kate will get a lot of criticism on social media for that statement, but it is a very legitimate one in my book. Just look what happened when the news did break! Of course, I’m not saying she shouldn’t have contacted police, but trying to avoid being a trending topic online — and not in a good way — could contribute to some very poor decision making in the moment.
UPDATE – Florida Today has removed the videos from their site, but Radar Online has since uploaded one extended clip to YouTube:
In anther part of the video, Kate explains to the officers: “I have to live here, I’m from here. I’m a public figure. I can’t have this domestic nonsense.”
More from Florida Today from footage not yet released to the public:
• Chastain said, “She’s obsessed. She gets insane. I don’t know how to handle it. She was on the floor breaking glass. … She poured champagne on my head here. … She attacked me Wednesday afternoon. I was a hostage in my house until Friday morning.”
• The officer replied, “OK, don’t you think that’s a pretty severe thing to not have to worry about contacting the police so you don’t go on the news or stuff like that? Somebody’s a hostage in their house, don’t you think you would call the police and not worry about anything else?”
• Video footage shows Chastain telling the officers, “There was one day where when she would have these episodes. I started looking in the mirror and said I should maybe put on makeup because I’m afraid the cops are about to come. I said, what kind of relationship is that?”
After the questioning, police officers inform Kate that she is being arrested. Kate seems completely confused and in shock as officers recommend that she remove her jewelry. “Should I put on a bra? Underwear?” she asks.
“To be honest with you,” the officer replies, “they’re going to put you in a suit when you get there.”
“Can I put on makeup?” Kate asks.
“No you can’t,” the officer says. “We don’t have time for that.”
Kate also asks her friend Will to use her phone to Google information about being arrested in Florida for domestic violence and how to get out.
Kate’s friend Will can be heard asking officers if they could wait until a neighbor returned home because the neighbor had video footage of Ro attacking Kate, but the officers informed him that they could not. (It is unclear if that video footage was ever obtained, and if so, whether it will be used as evidence in court to help Kate’s case.)
Kate is handcuffed and escorted out of her apartment by the arresting officers as she gives her friend Will instructions. “Tell my brother I can’t make it for dinner,” she says at one point, just before asking him to contact a lawyer friend. Kate is then placed in a police car and driven to jail.
Kate’s case has been continued several times already and she is next scheduled to be in court on March 27.