A Marion woman is accusing a Marion City Council member of drunkenly attacking her brother, pushing her, and breaking windows out of a vehicle with a bat at a home on Pickens Street Sunday night.
Sonya Anderson, who was in the audience at Marion’s City Council meeting Tuesday night, began streaming a live video to her Facebook page in the late hours of Sunday night this week.
The video begins by showing the flashing lights of police cars in the distance while Anderson narrates.
“He’s down there drunk,” she says. Anderson identified the person who she said attacked her brother and broke windows out of his vehicle as “Councilman Nard.” She later clarified that she was referring to Marion City Council member Bernard Arrington.
“I just want Marion to know what their city councilman is up to,” Anderson says in the video. “He’s down there starting a mess, wanting somebody to go to jail.”
In the video, Anderson says the incident stemmed from a domestic dispute. She later approached the scene with her camera, showing the shattered windows of a Kia Soul that she says Arrington broke out in anger.
Tuesday night, following Marion’s city council meeting, she discussed her story further.
“He was at my sister-inlaw’s house, my brother’s wife,” she said. “I stay right down the road.”
“[Arrington] jumped on my brother,” Anderson said, causing a disturbance in the neighborhood in the middle of the night. She said Arrington attacked her brother, and his vehicle, with a baseball bat.
“They was fighting. I went down there to see what was going on,” she said. “[Arrington] got in my face, pushing on me.”
Then, Anderson says, the City Councilmember told a Marion Police officer who was on the scene that “If [the officer] didn’t arrest ‘these ms’ right now, he was going to have [the officer’s] mg job. He told them to arrest us right now.”
Anderson said no one ended up getting arrested that night, but her brother received 14 stitches after the incident.
She said she felt Arrington should have been arrested on the spot.
During Tuesday night’s council meeting, Marion Mayor Dexter Hinton said the matter was under investigation.
‘None of it is true’
Concilman Arrington spoke with the Herald shortly before press time on Wednesday morning. He gave his own account of the evening’s incident, in which he disputed Anderson’s account unequivocally. Both Arrington and Anderson agree that a dispute took place at the Pickens Street home that night. But as to who was at fault, Arrington’s account diverged sharply from Anderson’s.
“He’s already been trespassed from that residence,” Arrington said of the other man involved in the incident.
He said the home is that of the man’s estranged wife, and that the man lives in North Perry, outside the city limits.
“When I pulled up at the residence, he pulled in behind me and approached me,” said Arrington of how the events played out. “And swung and hit me.”
He said the vehicle window was broken during the struggle between the two, and wasn’t an intentional act.
Arrington said the two have a history, and the other man has always been the aggressor.
“This is not the first time he’s approached me,” he said. “He’s approached me in front of the mayor,” as well as at the school where Arrington works, he said.
Arrington said he had not been arrested, but it was his understanding that the other man was supposed to have been.
“He’s supposed to have been arrested for Assault III, because he came [up] to me,” Arrington said. “He’s supposed to have been arrested for Assault III and trespassing.”
He said he knew city police had taken the man to City Hall that night following the incident, and it was his understanding that he had been arrested that night.
“I guess he bonded out,” Arrington said.
MPD remains silent
On Tuesday night, the Herald submitted a request for any incident or arrest reports stemming fron any domestic incident occurring in the Pickens/Lafayette Street area between Sunday night and Tuesday morning.
Yolanda Curry, who is the administrative assistant to Chief Tony Bufford, returned the following response on Wednesday:
“No information will be released without the approval of Chief Bufford. He is away from the office on today.”
The Code of Alabama, 36-12-41 provides for the release of public records to the public and press “on demand,” as follows: “Every public officer having the custody of a public writing which a citizen has a right to inspect is bound to give him, on demand, a certified copy of it.”
Police incidents and accident reports, not inclusive of the officer’s written narrative of events, known as the “back page” of a police report, have been held to be public records under this law.