An Alabama city councilman has been arrested after allegedly punching the mayor of the city he represents on Monday night.
Tommy Bryant, a Tarrant town councilman, was arrested after he allegedly punched Mayor Wayman Newton over a verbal argument, according to AL.com.
The Tarrant Police Department released video showing Bryant hitting Newton once in a parking lot following a council meeting, which the report described as controversial.
Bryant was charged with third-degree assault on Monday and then charged with theft of services after he allegedly failed to pay the towing company after recovering his vehicle from the tow lot, according to the report.
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Court documents say Tarrant Police Chief Wendell Major escorted the councilor to his car after a “long and eventful council meeting”.
When the two reached Bryant’s car, Newton approached and began talking to the counselor. Bryant, according to the court document, said “I’m cheap tonight – do you have a quarter?”
Newton, in the police chief’s account of what happened, said, “I prefer your wife. She’s cleaned up and I won’t have to worry.”
Court documents say Newton then said he could have sex with the councilman’s wife but not get her pregnant.
The police chief later said he caught Bryant and placed him under arrest.
Bryant’s car was taken to an impound lot by a tow truck.
The councilman was also placed under a no contact order with Newton following the incident and must remain 50ft away at all times.
James Ward, an attorney for Bryant, told AL.Com that Newton made disgusting comments that led to the incident.
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“Mr. Bryant was defending his wife’s honor after the mayor made vulgar and disgusting comments to him. I don’t blame him. That’s what honorable men do. They don’t insult the wife of another man,” Ward said. . “With respect to service theft charges, I will comment after I have had the opportunity to review the specific facts with my client.”
Newton told AL.com that he refuses to be subjected to the hatred that Bryant allegedly inflicted on him.
“I tolerate Tommy Bryant’s ignorant remarks and comments during our council meetings because as mayor, I understand it is my duty to ensure that the city runs as efficiently and effectively as possible to all,” Newton said. “I refuse to tolerate and submit to Councilor Bryant’s ignorance and hatred in private. The language I chose and the words I spoke with Councilor Bryant in a private conversation at the following our Monday night meeting were the words of a 42-year-old black father, son, business owner and law-abiding citizen who is tired of being looked down upon as a boy and n—– .”
This isn’t the first time Bryant’s actions have garnered national attention.
During a council meeting in the summer of 2021, Bryant used a racist term when addressing a black council member, Veronica Freeman.
“Do we have a house n —– here?” Bryant said, referring to Freeman.
Bryant did not apologize after the incident, and Freeman left the meeting in tears.
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“I did the right thing. It had to shine a light on the kind of person the mayor is,” Bryant told WVTM-TV.
When asked by the outlet if his actions were racist, Bryant said: “It’s according to your definition of the word racist. What is the definition of a large part of the public, I could be racist. But according to what is the true definition of a racist is absolutely not”.
The Alabama Democratic Party and the Alabama GOP condemned his remarks at the time.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.