Tallassee mayor charged with harassment in road rage incident

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A view of Tallassee’s old textile mill and the Tallapoosa River, as seen from the Fitzpatrick bridge. [Photo Credit: Josh Whitman via Flikr]

The mayor of an Alabama city has been charged with harassment in a road rage incident in which he was accused of cursing at and threatening a car of young women.

Tallassee Mayor Johnny Hammock and the other driver, 20-year-old Keazanni Spencer, were charged with misdemeanors following a July 5 encounter, the chief assistant district attorney confirmed to the Montgomery Advertiser on Sunday.

During a hearing Friday, the mayor’s wife told a judge that the incident began after Spencer’s blue sedan, driving erratically, passed her, then later pulled in front of her and an occupant got out and cursed at her. Spencer testified that no one cursed at the mayor’s wife, but that she thought the woman was pulling over to use a phone so she went around her.

Hammock was driving his wife through the area about 20 minutes later when they noticed the same blue sedan, according to court testimony.

Spencer said Hammock blocked her with his pickup truck, then approached her car and asked if she had tried to run his wife off the road earlier. Spencer said Hammock was armed, though he never pointed the gun at the occupants or threatened them with it. She testified that Hammock cursed at her before identifying himself as the mayor and threatening to have her jailed.

Hammock was present at the hearing, but did not testify, The Advertiser said.

An attorney for the Hammocks said Spencer’s allegations were “diametrically opposed” to what she and other occupants told Tallassee police.

The district attorney said law enforcement would likely launch an independent investigation and findings would be presented to an Elmore County grand jury.

The first-term mayor is up for reelection Tuesday.

Republished with the permission of the Associated Press.