An Alabama councilman has been arrested after he allegedly punched the mayor of the city he represents on Monday night.
Tommy Bryant, a Tarrant city councilman, was arrested after allegedly punching Mayor Wayman Newton over a verbal dispute, according to AL.com.
The Tarrant Police Department released video showing Bryant punching Newton once in a parking lot after a council meeting, which the report describes as controversial.
Bryant was charged with third-degree assault Monday and later charged with theft of services after he allegedly failed to pay the towing company after picking up his vehicle from the tow lot, according to the report.
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Court documents indicate that Tarrant Police Chief Wendell Major escorted the councilman to his car after a “long and turbulent council meeting.”
When the two got to Bryant’s car, Newton walked over and began talking to the councilman. 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 clean and I won’t have to worry.”
Court documents indicate that Newton later said he could have sex with the councilman’s wife but not get her pregnant.
The police chief later said he grabbed Bryant and arrested him.
Bryant’s car was taken to an impound lot by a tow truck.
The councilman also received a no-contact order with Newton following the incident and must remain 50 feet away at all times.
James Ward, Bryant’s attorney, 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 for doing it. That’s what honorable men do. They don’t insult another man’s wife,” Ward said. . . “As to the theft of services charge, I will comment after I have had an opportunity to review the specific facts with my client.”
Newton told AL.com that he refuses to be subjected to the hate that Bryant allegedly puts him through.
“I tolerate Tommy Bryant’s ignorant remarks and remarks at our council meetings because, as mayor, I understand that it is my duty to make sure the city runs as efficiently and effectively as possible for all people,” Newton said. “I refuse to tolerate and submit to Councilman Bryant’s ignorance and hatred in private. The language I chose and the words I spoke with Councilman Bryant during a private conversation following our meeting Monday night were the words of a 42 year old black father, son, business owner and law abiding citizen who is sick of being ignored like a kid and a 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 speaking to a black council member, Veronica Freeman.
“Do we have a n—– house 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 what had to be done. It had to come out what kind of person the mayor is,” Bryant told WVTM-TV.
Asked by the news outlet if his actions were racist, Bryant said: “Based on your definition of the word racist. Which is a big part of the public’s definition, he could be a racist. But based on the true definition”. of a racist is, absolutely not.”
Both the Alabama Democratic Party and the Alabama Republican Party condemned his comments at the time.
Associated Press contributed to this report.