The mayor of a small Missouri town was arrested after he allegedly picked a fight with a sheriff's deputy last Monday. According to the Associated Press, Mayor Dennis Bradley of Hillsboro has had a long-standing feud with the deputy.
The incident took place in a gas station parking lot where Bradley, 65, is accused of yelling expletives at the deputy before following him to his patrol car. Then, Bradley allegedly challenged him to a fight. Before poking the deputy in the chest, he allegedly tried to get him to remove his badge and gun for a fair fight.
According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the deputy once arrested Bradley’s son four years ago on a DUI suspicion.
The deputy ended up using pepper spray to subdue Bradley, who was arrested on suspicion of stalking, resisting arrest and fourth-degree assault on a law enforcement officer, the Associated Press reported. No charges have been filed yet, but a restraining order has been issued by a judge.
Bradley told the Associated Press that he will not step down from his role of mayor.
"I told them, 'This is still America,'" Bradley said. "I'm innocent until I'm proven guilty. These are probably misdemeanor charges. Why would I resign? [...] Did I act inappropriately? Maybe so, just a little bit. But then again, this is a very personal issue, an attack on my family."
Bradley defended his actions in an interview with News 4.
"I pointed my finger and tapped him on his flak jacket. I wasn't trying to do him bodily harm," he said.
Police, however, said that Bradley’s attack came on as the officer was trying to flee the situation.
"The officer clearly was attempting to walk away," said Captain Gary Higginbotham with the Jefferson County Sheriff's Department. "[He] mentions something like 'It's in the past, you need to go home, on with your business.' Something to that effect."
[Photo: Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office]