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Arrest warrant for State Rep. Kevin Boyle withdrawn, Philadelphia DA Larry Krasner says

Arrest warrant for Pennsylvania State Rep. Kevin Boyle withdrawn
Arrest warrant for Pennsylvania State Rep. Kevin Boyle withdrawn 03:15

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- The Philadelphia District Attorney's Office has withdrawn the arrest warrant issued for State Rep. Kevin Boyle, District Attorney Larry Krasner announced on Monday. 

Last week, Philly police issued the warrant for Boyle's arrest after he allegedly violated a protection from abuse order. Sources said last week Boyle texted his estranged wife. But on Monday, Krasner said officials learned that there is no active protection from abuse order Boyle could've violated.

"This does not mean, one way or another, that Mr. Boyle committed no crime," Krasner said. "That is a matter to be determined later, but based on the information we have today, which is more complete than the apparently accurate information we had before, we do not find that there is probable cause to justify a warrant for the arrest of Mr. Boyle for violating a protection from abuse order on the dates in question."

Krasner, who couldn't share everything he knows about the case due to legal restrictions, said Philadelphia police and the DA's office didn't act in bad faith when issuing the warrant. So what went wrong and led to withdrawing the warrant? 

Krasner said there was a "gap in information" and it wasn't until Monday that officials discovered the protection from abuse order was no longer active. 

"The bottom line here is that a detective acted on all of the information he had," Krasner said. "None of it was false, none of it was fake, none of it was forged, but there was a piece that was missing and ... while I regret that none of us had it earlier, I will say that I didn't want this day to go by having to confirm this morning that the protection order was no longer in effect as of the days in question. I didn't want this day to go by without correcting that fact for the public."

Arrest warrant issued for State Rep. Kevin Boyle withdrawn by Philadelphia police, DA Krasner says 16:12

It's unclear when the protection from abuse order expired. Krasner and Philadelphia Police Commissioner Kevin Bethel didn't specify. 

Boyle was arrested and charged in 2021 for harassment and violating a protection order filed by his estranged wife. At the time, his attorney called it a domestic issue.

Bethel said the Philly Police Department deals with plenty of protection from abuse orders and other domestic issues. He and Krasner both echoed the same sentiment that police and the DA's office can learn from this incident in the future and provide more checks and balances.

"With a case like this or any case, it's our duty to review the work regardless of who the person is to make sure we're getting the process right, to make sure we're collaborating effectively with the DA's office to make sure our processes are proper but if we also, as the DA has indicated, find other information, then we have to close that loophole as well," Bethel said.   

Krasner said he hasn't spoken to Boyle since the warrant was issued and didn't provide an update on his mental health. 

"It is my hope that his mental state is being addressed, it is my hope he and everyone connected with this situation is in a safe place, but I can't tell you more than that," Krasner said. "I don't know."

The incident is under investigation. 

2024 Pennsylvania primary election

The announcement of Boyle's arrest warrant being withdrawn came less than 24 hours before polls opened for the Pennsylvania primary election. 

Boyle's lawyer, Andrew D. Montroy, said in a statement the past week has caused "tremendous professional damage" to Boyle. 

"Today the Office of the Philadelphia District Attorney and Philadelphia Police Department confirmed that the arrest warrant for Kevin Boyle was withdrawn. Furthermore, some have irresponsibly implied or falsely stated that this was a matter involving physical abuse. To be clear, no such abuse has ever taken place or been alleged either in the past or now. This entire past week and all the media coverage around it coming in the final days before Election Day has caused tremendous professional damage to my client," Montroy said in a statement. 

Boyle, a Democrat, represents Pennsylvania District 172, which covers parts of Montgomery County and Northeast Philadelphia. He has represented the district since 2011 and is currently seeking his eighth term.  

Boyle is facing a serious primary challenge on Tuesday. Democrat Sean Dougherty is challenging Boyle for his seat and the race has some serious implications in November, as well. Democrats currently hold a very narrow two-seat edge in the State House. Boyle has held his seat for more than a decade, but Republican John Perzel occupied that office for three decades prior.

Krasner denied that the withdraw of the arrest warrant had anything to do with the election on Tuesday. 

"If the question is whether somehow we're doing this now because of an election -- I think my have office has been pretty clear -- that we try to act in a way that is truly even-handed," Krasner said. "That we try to treat unfamous people the same way we treat famous people. And regardless of what candidate I might like or might not like, I don't think it's right for people to end this day without information that can be corrected, being corrected. I suppose people can look at what happened here and say, 'Oh, it's a big plot against Boyle because there's an arrest warrant.' But what's this, a big plot for Boyle? Or might it just be, that people were acting in good faith were missing a fact and went back and got it and corrected however imperfectly once they had it." 

Last week, the House Republican Caucus asked Boyle to go on leave and House Majority Leader Matt Bradford introduced a resolution that could expel Boyle. 

"Oh it's definitely going to be targeted by Republicans in November and I think that's one of the ones we'll be closely watching," Lauren Cristella, of the Committee of Seventy, said.

Voters in Boyle's district seemed wary of giving him another term. 

"The community isn't happy with him, he's not representing us," Teresa Dougherty said. "He's not doing nothing for us."

Boyle's previously disclosed his struggles with mental health

Boyle told constituents in a letter in 2022 that subsequent treatment at a mental health facility helped save his life. 

Two months ago, Boyle went viral on social media after he was seen on camera allegedly threatening staff at the Gaul & Co. Malt House on Huntingdon Pike in Rockledge, Montgomery County. Police said Boyle was reportedly drunk and possibly under the influence of drugs at the time of the incident. 

Police said Boyle was asked to leave the bar several times by employees but refused and allegedly threatened the employees. He was never charged for the incident. 

Boyle eventually left the bar that night in February and police told him he was banned from the Gaul & Co. Malt House. 

Kevin Boyle's brother, Brendan, a Congressman who represents Pennsylvania's Second District, said last week his brother's struggle with mental illness has been a nightmare for their family. 

If you're struggling with mental health, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255 or 988. CBS News Philadelphia also has a list of mental health resources.

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