The mayor and council member of Birmingham, Alabama turned a verbal dispute during a city council meeting into an actual fight in room out of public view Tuesday. Both ended up in the hospital and the councilman has been charged with third degree assault. Photo by Dimitry Kaminsky/Shutterstock.
BIRMINGHAM, Ala., Dec. 16 (UPI) -- The mayor and a council member in Birmingham, Ala., turned a disagreement at a city council meeting into an actual fight, sources said.
Mayor William Bell and council member Marcus Lundy set a council meeting on edge with a verbal dispute Tuesday in which the two agreed to sort out the issue in a private spot away from the public, witnesses said.
Once there, Lundy started the private conversation, but quickly made it personal and began shouting and cursing at him, Bell told police. Lundy allegedly kept the mayor from leaving the room and put him in a chokehold. The alleged fight ended when two of Lundy's aides came into the room.
Bell "had bruising on the right side of his neck and swelling to his left knee," the police report said. Both men went to the hospital and Lundy has been charged with third-degree assault. If convicted, he could face a year in jail and a $6,000 fine.
Both men were transported to a hospital, Al.com reported. Bell's office said the mayor had a CT scan and an MRI. Lundy's condition was not known.
It also was not known what the two men were fighting about.
"It's extremely concerning, not just for me, but for our entire city," Birmingham Police Chief A.C. Roper said at a press conference. "So we'll conduct a thorough investigation and try to get to the bottom of exactly what happened and what precipitated this incident."
The mayor and the council have suffered through power struggles recently.