“Brawl at City Hall” garners national attention

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The fight between Mayor William Bell and City Councilman Marcus Lundy that broke out Tuesday in City Hall – details of which were reported first by Alabama Today – has attracted the attention of the national press, as well as social media where the hashtag “#BrawlAtCityHall” amassed hundreds of Tweets.

According to a police report first obtained by Alabama Today, Lundy attacked Bell in a break room adjoining the Council chambers, where a regular meeting of city of council was taking place.

After forcibly stopping Bell from leaving the room by slamming the door shut, Lundy tackled Bell and “put him in a chokehold,” police said Tuesday. While both men were hospitalized with minor injuries, the report charges Lundy with one count of third-degree assault, calling him the aggressor in the confrontation.

The story gained momentum nationally Tuesday afternoon and into the night, meriting reports from Reuters, ABC News, and the Associated Press.

The fight broke out amid rumors that Lundy, who has often been at odds with the mayor’s office since first being elected in 2013, may try to run against Bell in a Democratic primary during the next mayoral election in 2018.

Bell’s office recently revoked Lundy’s use of a city-owned car, citing a state law that may prohibit such use, and Lundy maintains Bell recently called his employer, Regions, and demanded his dismissal. Bell denies doing so.

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