Alabama Today has obtained the police report from Tuesday’s scuffle at Birmingham City Hall between Mayor William Bell and City Councilman Marcus Lundy at about 11 a.m. Tuesday.
The two came to blows in the Mayor’s Office during a City Council meeting. Early reports indicated the fight started over a consultant who contracts with the city, but later reports from the police said the brawl broke out after Lundy’s use of a city-owned car was revoked.
The police report charges Lundy with one count of third-degree assault, calling him the aggressor in the confrontation.
Police say Lundy grabbed Bell and “put him in a chokehold” after forcibly preventing him from leaving a room behind Council Chambers, where city business was actively being conducted.
Earlier reports indicated a man was heard to say “No! No!” from inside the room. The police report indicates those words were uttered by Bell, fending off an attack from Lundy.
Jose Perry and Chris Mosley, both aides to Lundy, pulled the councilman off Bell, according to police. Both Perry and Mosley are listed as witnesses, as was Tyrone Silmon, an assistant to the mayor’s office.
The police report says Silmon heard the disturbance from an adjoining room and tried to enter but Mosley closed the door on him. When Silmon forced the door open the three men were standing in the room, the altercation evidently already broken up.
Mosley reportedly refused to give a statement to police when asked by an officer.
Police said Bell was left with a bruise on the right side of his neck and swelling of his left knee. An earlier photo released by Council President Johnathan Austin shows scratches and bleeding on the back of Lundy’s lower left leg.
City sources told Alabama Today the car was retrieved by the city because it’s illegal for a city councilor to drive it. The sources also said Lundy came up with a cover story for his attack on Bell, saying the Mayor called Regions Bank – Lundy’s employer – to demand he be fired.
Sources also say a warrant for Lundy’s arrest is imminent.
News reports indicated Bell may have called Lundy’s employer, Regions Bank, and demanded his dismissal, but Bell denies doing so.
For more on this developing story, see State law may have prohibited Marcus Lundy from driving city-owned vehicle.
Read the full police report here.