Alabama councilman arrested after allegedly punching mayor over ‘vulgar and disgusting comments’

An Alabama councilman was arrested after he allegedly punched the mayor of the town he represents on Monday night.

Tommy Bryant, a councilman for Tarrant city, was arrested after allegedly punching Mayor Wayman Newton over a verbal dispute, according to AL.com.

The Tarrant Police Department released video showing Bryant striking Newton one time in a parking lot following a council meeting, which the report describes as contentious.

Bryant was charged with assault in the third degree on Monday, and then charged with theft of services after allegedly failing to pay the towing company after picking up his vehicle from the tow lot, according to the report.

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Tommy Bryant, a councilman for Tarrant city, was arrested after allegedly punching Mayor Wayman Newton over a verbal dispute, according to AL.com.
(Tarrant Police Department)

Court documents state that Tarrant Police Chief Wendell Major escorted the councilman to his car after a “long and turbulent council meeting.”

When the two reached Bryant’s car, Newton approached 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 is cleaned out, and I won’t have to worry.”

Court documents state that Newton then said that he could have sex with the councilman’s wife but not get her pregnant.

The police chief then said he grabbed 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 is required to stay 50 feet 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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The Tarrant Police Department released video showing Bryant striking Newton one time in a parking lot following a council meeting, which the report describes as contentious.
(Tarrant Police Department)

“Mr. Bryant was defending his wife’s honor after vulgar and disgusting comments were made to him by the mayor. I don’t blame him for doing so. That’s what honorable men do. They don’t insult another man’s wife,” Ward said. “As for the theft of services charge, I will comment after I’ve had an 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 puts him through.

“I tolerate Tommy Bryant’s ignorant remarks and comments at our council meetings because as mayor I understand it’s my duty to make sure the city functions as efficiently and effectively as possible for all people,” Newton said. “I refuse to tolerate and subject myself to Councilor Bryant’s ignorance and hatred in private. The language I chose and the words I spoke to Councilor Bryant during a private conversation following our meeting on Monday night were the words of a 42-year-old Black father, son, business owner and law-abiding citizen who is fed up with being disregarded as a boy and n—–.”

This isn’t the first time that Bryant’s actions have gained 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 house n—– in here?,” Bryant said, referring to Freeman.

Bryant didn’t apologize after the incident, and Freeman left the meeting in tears.

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Court documents state that Tarrant Police Chief Wendell Major escorted the councilman to his car after a “long and turbulent council meeting.”
(Tarrant Police Department)

“I did what needed to be done. It needed to be brought to light what kind of a person the mayor is,” Bryant said to WVTM-TV.

When asked by the news outlet if his actions were racist, Bryant said, “It’s according to what your definition of the word racist is. What a lot of the public’s definition is, I might be a racist. But according to what the true definition of a racist is, absolutely not.”

Both the Alabama Democratic Party and the Alabama GOP condemned his remarks at the time.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.